Mining At Muckross

 

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SECTION 4
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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 earliest recorded mining on the Muckross peninsula dates from 1749 when a Bristol Company was working here 'to great advantage'. By 1754 this mining had raised some 30,000 worth of copper ore, which was shipped to Bristol for smelting, taking advantage of the newly built Kenmare road.

This operation ceased around 1757, and the next phase of mining at Muckross dates to 1785 when the Eastern Mine was worked for one and a half years. This mine was subsequently worked again in 1801 for a six month period, with the deepest shafts reaching 65 metres. Operations in the Western Mine resumed around 1795 for a brief period. In 1804, the visitor Isaac Weld observed that these later ventures failed, not because of ore shortage or flooding, but due to '...the mismanagement, or want of unanimity of the parties concerned in it' .

    

      Muckross Copper mine with mine shaft

             The Lost Fortune

'A curious fact in the history of this [Muckross] mine deserves attention. There was found in great profusion a mineral of a granulated metallic appearance, as hard as stone; its colour on the surface dark blue, tending to a beautiful pink. It was not copper ore; it was thrown away as rubbish: no body knew what it was, except one workman, who recognised it to be cobalt ore (arseniuret of cobalt), a mineral of great value, from which beautiful blue glass and smalt blue is made. This man managed to get away upwards of twenty tons of it as rubbish. Long afterwards a more candid miner, who visited the works and saw some specimens of it, told the proprietor its value; but the deposit of it had been worked out in order to explore for copper; the produce had been thrown away as useless, and it only remained for the mine owner to ruminate on the fortune he might have made, if he had possessed a proper knowledge of his business' (Robert Kane, 1845).

                                                                                    

    

 Copper mine with powder magazine

 

 

 

 

Mining at Muckross

Rudolf Raspe