Laxey (Manx: Laksaa) is a village on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Its name derives from the Old Norse Laxa meaning ‘Salmon River’. In the 19th century, mining for lead and zinc began, becoming the largest industry the village has had. The Laxey mines were the deepest in the world in the 19th century. Mining in Laxey came to an end 75 years later in 1929. The village also had a fishing industry.
In the late 1800s the Manx Electric Railway line was built through the village, opening it up to tourists from the Island’s very busy ‘visiting industry’. Various attractions were built at that time, such as Snaefell Mountain Railway, and the Laxey Glen Pleasure Gardens.
Laxey village is now a mainly residential and a tourist area, boasting several gardens to wander in at leisure, primarily Laxey Glen Gardens. There is also a hand weaving mill which sells its own and many other products. The village has five pubs and a Microbrewery, The Old Laxey Brewing Company. The village is built around a wooded glen with a number of steep winding streets and paths leading to the glen floor, from where it is possible to walk by the side of Laxey River to the outflow to the sea at the small harbour and onto the beach and promenade. It is also possible to walk around the cliffs to the north of the beach, a lovely walk, which one begins, opposite the “La Mona Lisa Restaurant” which takes one up, over the cairn (kern), from where there are stunning views of Clay Head to the south. A Laxey born & bred person would say, “I’m going over the kern for a walk”.
The Great Laxey Wheel