Villages By The Sea “Laxey” 6 October 2022: Tuesday on BBC Two

Villages By The Sea "Laxey" 6 October 2022: Tuesday on BBC Two 11

Situated on the eastern coast of the Isle of Man, the village of Laxey is known today as a tourist destination, but as archaeologist Ben Robinson finds out, it wasn’t the beaches and the mountains that attracted Victorian tourists, but an engineering marvel – the biggest waterwheel in the world.

Ben meets local resident Matthew Boyd who is repairing and restoring the 22-metre-wide great wheel and finds out how it transformed this small mining community to one of the most successful in the British Isles. He meets mining historian Peter Geddes who takes Ben deep underground to experience first-hand some of the conditions the miners faced.

Seaside Historian Dr Kathryn Ferry explains how the waterwheel became an unlikely tourist attraction and was a pioneer in the development of the industrial tourism craze that gripped the Victorian and Edwardian visitors to Laxey. Ben takes a trip to Ham and Egg terrace – a row of miners’ cottages in the shadow of the great wheel that saw industrious women take advantage of the tourists and created cafes in their own front rooms.

About Villages By The Sea

Series looking at coastal villages that have often been on the front line of history.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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