Laxey Great Mine Adit and Copper Trail

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2019

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

Everyone visiting Laxey heads to the giant “Lady Isabella Wheel.”:
Energetic visitors may even follow the “Mines Trail.”: Few actually discover the entrance to the original adit. This is very much the forgotten bit of mining history in Laxey.

A footpath and mining trail leads from end of the “Great Laxey Mines Railway”: through the trees to the main entrance of the Great Laxey Mine.

This runs for nearly one and a half miles connecting to mine workings. Not only was it the main access into the mine for the miners, all the mined ore was brought out of the mine here and carried by the tramway to the washing floor further down the valley. Originally wagons were pulled by horses but were replaced by steam engines in 1877. The adit also acted as a drain for water pumped up from the lower levels of the mine, up to 1600’ below. When the mine closed in 1929, the pumps were disconnected and the working filled with water. Flood water can still be seem flowing from the adit entrance.

The footpath ends at the Copper Trail. Small trial adits were dug by miners in an attempt to locate metal ores which could be mined. Most were speculative, unsuccessful and quickly abandoned. This one dates from around 1840 by miners trying to locate deposits of copper ore. It is typical of small scale trials and is approximately 100’ long before being abandoned.

This is a few minutes walk. This is one for the industrial archaeology buffs who want to find out more about the less well known history of mining in Laxey. You won’t find anything about this on the internet. The only information available is from information boards along the walk.

It can either be reached from the Great Laxey Mines Railway or by dropping down the road to the Fire Station on the road leading to the Lady Isabella Wheel. The nearest post code is IM4 7NY and the grid reference is SC 432 850.


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