[ 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 ]
Ross Island Mine,
looking across Lough Leane to Shehy Mountain.
'There is a lake called Lough Lein. Four circles are around it. In the
first circle, it is surrounded by tin, in the second by lead, in the third
by iron and in the fourth by copper...'
The above lines were written around 800 AD by a Welsh monk, Nennius,
who included the mineral wealth of Killarney as a wonder of the known
world. Remarkably, our investigation at Ross Island has uncovered evidence
of metal production in this early Christian period, in the form of small
furnaces dated to around AD 700. This period saw extensive enclosed
settlement ('ringforts') around Killarney and the establishment of an
important monastic centre on the island of Innisfallen, Lough Leane. A
large metalworking complex using metal ores from Ross Island has also been
identified at Scrahane in Killarney. These archaeological discoveries
suggest that Killarney was a major source of copper and possibly other
metals in the early Christian era.