Manx National Heritage is delighted to have been awarded the Institute of Historic Building Conservation North West Conservation Award for conservation of the Great Laxey Wheel.
The award is presented annually for the project that demonstrates best historic building conservation practice in the North West. It is open to Institute of Historic Building Conservation members involved in historic building conservation projects within Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and the Isle of Man.
John-Paul Walker, Historic Buildings Architect for Manx National Heritage, said: 'Manx National Heritage is delighted to receive this prestigious award for our work on the first phase of Laxey Wheel’s conservation. The judges considered this was a wonderful project, integrating conservation engineering with carefully specified and executed fabric repairs.'
The Great Laxey Wheel's rod duct
Paul Hartley, Chair of Institute of Historic Building Conservation North West, said: 'The judges considered this was a wonderful project, integrating conservation engineering with carefully specified and executed fabric repairs. The logistics of the project as well as the sourcing of the materials were noted as primary considerations in the granting of the award, reinforced by the highly unusual and exceptional nature of the project and the status and significance of the wheel to the Isle of Man.'
In the first phase of the project to conserve the Great Laxey Wheel, old render and defective timbers suffering decay were replaced, ironmongery repaired and the wheel, housing, railings and viewing platform repainted.
Standing static during her conservation, the world famous wheel began turning again in autumn 2022, concluding the first phase of the most comprehensive conservation project completed on Lady Isabella, as the wheel is known, since her restoration almost 40 years ago.
Timbers for the second phase of the project recently arrived on site in preparation for the start, this month, of phase two of the project, in which the Laxey Wheel’s magnificent rod duct and T-rocker will be conserved and repaired.
Timber arriving for phase two
The wood being used is certified sustainable and so durable that it should mean these parts are safeguarded long into the future.
Members of the public can follow the progress of phase two on the Manx National Heritage facebook page this winter and on site when the wheel reopens to visitors on Friday 29 March 2024.