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Laxey Mines and Trains

Laxey and Lonan Heritage Centre, Mines Road, Laxey, IM4 7NH

The Mine itself covers more than a mile in a North-South direction from the Washing Floors of lower Laxey to the village of Agneash.

As early as 1770, the first outcrop of ore had been located adjacent to a waterfall, and 1820 it was decided to sink the first shaft (the Engine shaft)  but in 1836 it flooded drowning five men. By 1840 the sinking of a second shaft was under way slightly higher up the glen. This was the Welsh shaft which later held the man engine. The great ingenuity of the Industrial Era led to the construction of  the Laxey Wheel in 1854 using the power of the River Mooar to pump the mine. Originally ponies were used for transport but in 1875 Ant and Bee two small steam trains were installed instead.

The mines flooded again in 1901, and later during an inspection a wooden pathway collapsed killing four men. In 1929 deep mining had ceased and the mine closed in 1932. By 1929 some of the water powered machinery had already been reinvented to turn dynamos for the Laxey Electric Light Company.