The Ballycorus lead mine chimney stands close to the summit of Carrigolligan [ 906ft ] just east of the Dublin mountains. The lead mines opened in 1826 and operated till 1913. It was a dangerous place to work as the fumes from the chimney and the handling of the lead caused poisoning and death in many cases. The site is still being monitored regularly. There are a row of granite spiral steps on the outside as can be seen in the pic. Miners used to have to climb these regularly and scrape down the inside of the flue, where there would be very high concentrates of melted lead clinging to the walls. This was the most dangerous job because of poisoning.
There are quite a number of old tunnels leading up the hill to the chimney and they say there was a railway. There are lots of old mine buildings still standing in private gardens on the west side of the hill.
When the mines closed, many local miners went to work in Australia and the Welsh coal mines and also in the Cornish tin mines. A lot went to work on the tunneling for the underground in London and became known as "the Tunnel Tigers". Ewan Mc Call [ Kirsty Mc Cauls dad ] wrote a wonderful song about them!
" Hares run free on the Wicklow mountain,
Wild geese fly and the foxes play,
The sporting Wicklow boys are working,
Driving a tunnel through the London clay"
" The Carlow girls are fine and handsome.
All decked out so neat and gay,
The Carlow boys dont come to curt [court] them
There driving a tunnel through the London clay.
"Up with the shield, jack it, ram it
Drive a tunnel through the London clay.
Down in the earth are the tunnel tigers,
Far from the sun and the light of day,
Down in the land that the sea ones buried
Driving a tunnel through the London Clay "
And heres Sean Keane singing the wonderful song:
So thats the story of the lead mines.You now know another reason why we are scattered to the four winds. Its a wonderful place with amazing views of Dublin bay and the Welsh mountains on clear days. And for all the so called poison, I found a healthy Heath Spotted Orchid less than 100 yds from the chimney!
Isnt nature something really!!!
Tagged: , mineros , Lead , Ireland , Australia , Cornwall , Wales , Tories , Thatcher , Orchid , Poison , Argentina , Daniel , Friend! , Tunnel Tigers , Wicklow , Thank You Daniel , London Underground , Ore , Ewan Mc Call , Mountains