The Danish Mine 


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Bronze Age Mine Working, Ross Island

It is not above thirty years since a very rich copper mine was discovered on the borders of this lake, and worked with very great profit to the proprietors for many years; but what is greatly to our purpose, is, that on pushing on their works, they found shafts had been regularly sunk, and implements of mining were found. These works were ignorantly imputed to the Danes...' (Sylvester O'Halloran 1772).

Mining in recent centuries at Ross Island uncovered older primitive workings which were called the 'Danes Mines'. Visitor accounts recall 'chambers of rudely vaulted form', worked by '...kindling large fires on the limestone, thereby reducing it to a caustic state'. Though badly damaged by subsequent mining, some of these primitive workings survive today. These include surface and underground workings in the Western Mine area, and parts of the Blue Hole trench mine.