Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Kilkenny Slate Quarries

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All images using a Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, iso 100
Victorian Slate quarries, County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

I can remember the first time I came across the Slate quarries near Windgap, County Kilkenny, there are about four or five of these sites in the area all of the now disused and flooded, How long they have existed varies but all of them go back to the Victorian period.

The quarry in these images is located near Ahenny, Co.Kilkenny and the reason I find it more interesting than the others is that it still has remains of some cottages that the workers would have lived in during the period that the quarry was in operation.

Quarry lake

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I don’t know how deep the lake is, I have been swimming in it many times and it feels deep very deep, the miners would have had to blast most of the slate out and the sides of the lake go strait down below the water. If you swim underneath the water and down the sides a little you still cannot see the bottom of the quarry, many would feel a little unhappy swimming here.

Workers Cottage’s

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There are some ten cottages in this row, its just around the corner from the lake, which when the quarry was in operation would have been a very dangerous location, with blasting and all the machinery in very close proximity to the cottages it cannot have been great living condition. This as-well the fact that the location is miles away from any village, the conditions for the worker must have been very poor.

The Quarries Today

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Today these quarries have become a wildlife and natural reserve, slate lies everywhere but this has provided a haven for plant life and wildlife, Herons hunt in the rive below the quarry and the lake is full of fish. The area covers about 2 square miles.

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When some of the local streams run dry in the summer you can see jut how much slate was left in the area after the mining finished, it covers the entire area.

I will come back to these quarries over the next weeks as they are wonderful places to post about and I love being around these quarries very much.

11 responses

  1. Those shots are fabu. I don’t think I would like to swim there. Too deep. Yikes.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    • Hello Elen πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment !!!!

      Yes its a great place to spend sometime, If your an ok swimmer its not to bad, but you have to keep swimming no way of putting you feet down on anything here

      June 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  2. What a fun place to explore! The quarry lake with those straight vertical walls and clear deep water almost looks like someone’s in-ground pool. I’ll bet the water is clean. And cold πŸ™‚

    June 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    • Hello Sharon πŸ™‚

      Yes I love it here, just brilliant – I have seen so much wildlife and rare things growing. It must of been another story when the miners live and work in the area but these days its just a wonderful place to spend sometime.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    • PS : yes it is cold, but its a real kick to get in πŸ™‚

      June 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      • πŸ™‚ I’ll bet!

        June 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

  3. noelgreene

    Nigel, very informative and great images

    June 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

  4. Kathy

    My mother was born near there, her father worked in the quarry, there was a little village there with shops, most of the residents worked in the quarry, it’s worth visiting Delanys pub, they could tell you lots of history.

    October 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Hello Kathy πŸ™‚

      Yes I know Delany’s very well, I have been in for the live music nights – Great Idea – Thank you !!!!!

      October 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

  5. Hi Nigel
    Wonderful Photos and full of memories.
    My Band “Shenanigans” from England played in The Slate Quarries Festival in 1998 & 1999 in John Delaneys pub, Great festival , we stayed the week and played their most nights. Sadly the Slate Quarries Festival is no more, Unless you know different.

    June 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    • Hi Mike πŸ™‚

      thank you !!!

      No the festival is long gone, sadly I think the man who owned the land passed away sometime back !

      Delaneys is still going though opening a few times during the week with live music , locals playing lots of traditional sets πŸ™‚

      Since our dog sadly passed away I don’t visit as often , she love a swim in the lake and river, its a great place left to be as it is which is great for nature and wild life πŸ™‚

      Thanks Mike !!! πŸ™‚

      Delaneys is still

      June 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

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