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Tigroney engine house

Background
The compilation "The SCMC in Ireland" follows members of the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club as they explore some of the mining heritage of Ireland, this "mining gem of a country" in 1995 and '96, above & below ground.

The extensive workings near Avoca, Co.Wicklow include a magnificent Cornish beam engine house for William's shaft of the Tigroney Mine.

Ballycorus smelt mill chimney is a prominent landmark on a hilltop south of Dublin.

Fumes from the lead smelter at the foot of the hill were led along a long stone-built flue to the chimney.

Ballycorus lead smelter chimney
Roller crusher at Glendalough

It is unusual to find remains as complete as this on old mine sites. This roller crusher was made in Llanidloes, Wales and was probably used for re-working the dumps of the nearby lead mine at Glendalough.

At Silvermines and Shalee in Co. Tipperary are 19th & 20th century engine house and ore dressing buildings and impressive open stopes where lead was mined near the surface. Inside Shalee lead mine
Mountain Mine, Allihies

Allihies, Co. Cork is justly famous for its many Cornish engine houses set in the ruggedly beautiful scenery of the Atlantic coast. Mountain Mine engine house is perched precariously beside a cavernous open stope and until recently was in great danger of falling in!

The buildings stand out dramatically on the side of the Slieve Miskish mountains. In 1862 they housed the steam plant driving Ireland's only man engine - a system of vertical rods with platforms able to lift men from the depths of the mine. Mountain mine, Allihies
Ross Island copper-age excavation Irish mining dates back to at least the Copper Age, and hollows in the rock made by fire-setting and wooden or bone tools can still be found, like this one on Ross Island, Co. Killarney.
Metals are still extensively mined in Ireland. The largest Zinc mine in Europe is Tara in Co. Meath. Massive diesel powered machinery like this loader with its 14-tonne shovel is at work deep underground. The machine is driven into the blasted rock pile from the stope by radio control to allow the driver to remain safely in the roadway. Tara Zinc mine, Radio controlled 14 tonne loader
Tara Zinc mine, tube mill Tara has a large processing mill recovering Zinc and Lead from the rocks. The plant includes large rod and ball mills like this which crush the material to a fine powder. Other plant includes a Jaw crusher, flotation cells and vacuum filters.

The Shropshire Caving and Mining Club is well equipped and trained to explore mines underground, but this old barite mine in Co. Cork was a bit of a tight squeeze!

Find out more about the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club on their web site: www.shropshirecmc.org.uk

Exploring Derryginagh barite mine

The images on this page are taken from the video "The SCMC in Ireland".