[ Metal in Early Historic Times ] [ Len the Smith ] [ 18th Century Mining in Killarney ] [ Rudolf Raspe ] [ Weaver Map ] [ Mining At Muckross ] [ An Industrial Venture ] [ Thomas Weaver ] [ The Mining Companies ] [ Mines in Killarney ]
The importance of Killarney as an area of metalworking in the early
historic period is also attested to by the name of Lough Leane. This
derives from a mythological character, Lén Línfíaclach ('Len of the
White Teeth'), a famous artificer who had his forge on the shore. His
accomplishments are recalled in an early medieval poem:
'I have heard of Lén with hammers in plenty,
as being under the marge of its blooming bank,
where he shaped by no feeble forceless work
the shining vessels of Fainne daughter of Flidais...
Were it chariot or helmet of gold,
were it cup or well-made instrument of music,
justly Lén won good fame therefrom,
it was finished work ere night.'
Lén the Smith appears in one modern folk legend as a giant who dwelt
in Lough Leane and jealously guarded the mineral treasure of Ross
Island, leading modern miners astray.
Christian period furnace, Ross Island
in Early Historic Times