[ 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 ]
With the rise of
tourism in the early 19th century, the estate owners in Killarney began to
look less favourably on mining ventures around the lakes. One visitor to
Ross Island in 1828 complained that '... its quiet character has given
place to the roar of engines, the din of hammers, and the thunder of
explosions'. Added to the mining difficulties, this explains why no mine
leases were granted after 1829. In subsequent years the Ross Island mine
was carefully landscaped, with the infilling of shafts, the demolition of
buildings and the planting of trees. While mining here and at Muckross did
adversely effect the environment, this was limited compared to the
destruction of local woodland caused by iron smelting in the 18th century.
Today, both mines are shrouded in woodland and have developed their own
interesting plant ecology.
dam today, Ross island
Mining finally ended in Killarney with the ill-fated attempts of the
Ross Island Mining Company to develop that mine between 1911-12. With the
economy firmly tied to tourism, no serious interest has since been
expressed in opening new mines in this area. Mineral exploration in now
prohibited in the National Park, bringing to a close the long history of
metal mining around the Lakes of Killarney. This provides an opportunity
to preserve the physical record of past mining as an archaeological
resource for future generations.
The copper ore mined at Ross Island provided the very first metal to be
used in Ireland over 4000 years ago. This same source provided copper and
possibly other metals in Early Christian times when there was a Golden Age
of metalworking on this island.
Finally, the Killarney mines played their part in meeting the metal needs
of the Industrial Revolution from the 18th century onwards when some 5000
tons of copper ore was sold to British smelters.
Flooded mine Shaft,
in the Killarney landscape