[ 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 ]
Mining resumed at Ross Island
in 1825 when the Kenmare estate granted a lease to the newly formed
Hibernian Mining Company. This joint stock company engaged the engineer
Thomas Weaver to examine the mine and draw up plans for its development.
Following his recommendations, they began work in 1825, spending some
£20,000 over the next four years to little avail. The total recorded sale
of copper ore to the Swansea smelters between 1827-9 was only around 1500
Mine dam, 1829 Ross
Water, Water, Everywhere....
The greatest difficulty facing all mining ventures at Ross Island was
the close proximity of the lake shore. The earliest record here dates to
1756 when careless mining led to a great 'disaster' that flooded the
entire mine. Several solutions were proposed, including a suggestion made
by two visitors to drain Lough Leane which earned the wrath of local
boatmen! The mining companies tackled this problem by erecting a large
coffer dam around the shore and using pumps to drain the mines. The first
dam was built during the 1754-8 operation and subsequently extended by
both the Ross Island Company (1804-14) and the Hibernian Mining Company
(1825-9). This embankment was made of limestone taken from quarries within
the mine and stabilised using puddled clay and stone walling.
1807 the Ross Island Company purchased a steam engine at a cost of £4000
from England. This 35 horsepower beam engine, one of the first used in an
Irish mine, was fuelled by coal imported from Wales, consuming 1.5 tons a
day. The company also made an ill-fated attempt to harness water power by
diverting the river Deenagh to work a waterwheel and pumps at the mine. In
1826 the Hibernian Company purchased another steam engine, with a 36-inch
cylinder capable of pumping some 13 tons of water per minute. By 1828 this
equipment was unable to deal with the great influx of water, leading to
the mine closur
house c.1810, Ross Island mine.