The Great Laxey Wheel
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~~The Great Laxey Wheel is a major landmark on the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea. It is is claimed to be the largest water wheel in Europe: possibly in the world.
It was built in 1854 to pump water from the workings of the Great Laxey Mining Company. Mining was of considerable importance to the economy of Laxey and the Great Laxey Mine was one of the major producers of lead and zinc in the British Isles.
The Laxey water wheel was designed by the local engineer Robert Casement. The official opening of took place in September 1854 and it was set in motion by the Honourable Charles Hope, the Lieutenant Governor of the Island. The wheel was named "Lady Isabella" in honour of the Governor's wife.
The wheel has a diameter of 72 feet 6 inches, (over 22 metres), and a width of 6 feet. It is capable of pumping 250 gallons of water per minute from a depth of almost 1,500 feet. The mine shaft from which the water was pumped was sited about 450 yards from the great wheel. The power from the wheel was transmitted to the pumping mechanism by a series of rods supported by and running along an imposing masonry viaduct.
About the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is a self-governing crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island has its’ own government – the Tynwald.
The island is well known for its’ annual TT Motorcycle race and the native ‘Manx’ cat which has no tail (it can actually be a very short stumpy tail or none at all).
Decoration - The decorated disc on the end of the model and the two flags would carry the Isle of Man (Manx) emblem – the Triskelion of three legs as shown in the supporting picture.
Dimensions – the model is on a base which is 8 x 22 and has 285bricks.