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Posts tagged “Copper Mines

A sense of place : Allihies and its copper mines

Allihies Copper Mines
Munster
County Cork
Nigel Borrington

One of my favorite locations to visit in Ireland is Allihies in west cork, The village is located towards the end of the Béara Peninsula. Its a very beautiful places to spend sometime walking and visiting the small coves and beaches.

The Village has a long history with Copper mining, started in Allihies in 1812 when John Puxley, a local landlord, identified the large quartz promontory at Dooneen as copper bearing from its bright Malachite staining.

The Allihies Mines

Initial mining began with a tunnel or adit driven into the quartz lode from the pebble beach below. In 1821 two shafts were sunk . Flooding was a continuous problem and in 1823 the engine house was erected to house a steam engine brought over from Cornwall to pump water from the depths. The remains of this building with the base of the chimney can be seen across the road. There is also evidence of a steam powered stamp engine to the left of the chimney and dressing floors in front of the engine house. The high dam further inland is the remaining evidence of a water reservoir which stored the water that was pumped out from the bottom of the mine. It was used for the steam engines and needed to separate the copper from rock. All the rubble on the cliff at the sea side of the road is the crushed useless quartz rock left over after the copper ore was extracted.

This is one of six productive mines in the Allihies area and its operation continued until 1838 when it closed due to failing ore.

John Puxley died in 1860 and in 1868 his son Henry Puxley sold the mines to the new Berehaven Mining Company who reopened the mine and installed a new 22 inch steam engine in 1872. Little ore was produced though in this period and the mine was finally abandoned in 1878.

Time line of Copper Mining at Allihies

Gallery

The following images are taken during my last visit, I hope to return one day soon to this great little historic Irish town.


2 hour painting, The town of Allihies west cork, Ireland

Allihies copper Mines and town Irish landscape painting  Nigel Borrington

Allihies copper Mines and town
Irish landscape painting
Nigel Borrington

Allihies in west county cork is one of my favorite locations to visit in Ireland.

The town is located at the far end of the Béara Peninsula, west cork, the landscape scenery here is just stunning. The town itself is about as remote as it gets in this part of the world. There are many coastal walks along with paths that wind through the hills. The town is also well known for its copper mining history with many of the old mines still standing in the hills acting as a backdrop for the town.

There is a museum that you can visit details here : Allihies copper mine visitors center

My painting / sketch here was painted digitally using a combination of PC applications and taken from some sketches and photos I came home with on the return from my last visit.


The Copper mine , Monday Poetry

Copper_Mine_Nigel_Borrington_Panorama1

The Copper Mine

A mine spread out its vast machinery.

Her engines with their huts and smoky stacks,

Cranks, wheels, and rods, boilers and hissing steam,

Pressed up the water from the depths below.

Here fire-whims ran till almost out of breath,

And chains cried sharply, strained with fiery force.

Here blacksmiths hammered by the sooty forge,

And there a crusher crashed the copper ore.

Here girls were cobbing under roofs of straw,

And there were giggers at the oaken hutch.

Here a man-engine glided up and down,

A blessing and a boon to mining men:

And near the spot, where many years before,

Turned round and round the rude old water wheel,

A huge fire-stamps was working evermore,

And slimy boys were swarming at the trunks.

The noisy lander by the trap-door bawled

With pincers in his hand; and troops of maids

With heavy hammers brake the mineral stones.

The cart-man cried, and shook his broken whip;

And on the steps of the account-house stood

The active agent, with his eye on all.

Below were caverns grim with greedy gloom,

And levels drunk with darkness; chambers huge

Where Fear sat silent, and the mineral-sprite

For ever chanted his bewitching song;

Shafts deep and dreadful, looking darkest things

And seeming almost running down to doom;

Rock under foot, rock standing on each side;

Rock cold and gloomy, frowning overhead;

Before; behind, at every angle, rock.

Here blazed a vein of precious copper ore,

Where lean men laboured with a zeal for fame,

With face and hands and vesture black as night,

And down their sides the perspiration ran

In steaming eddies, sickening to behold.

But they complained not, digging day and night,

And morn and eve, with lays upon their lips.

Here yawned a tin-cell like a cliff of crags,

Here Danger lurked among the groaning rocks,

And oftimes moaned in darkness. All the air

Was black with sulphur and burning up the blood.

A nameless mystery seemed to fill the void,

And wings all pitchy flapped among the flints,

And eyes that saw not sparkled min the spars.

Yet here men worked, on stages hung in ropes,

With drills and hammers blasting the rude earth,

Which fell with such a crash that he who heard

Cried, “Jesu, save the miner!” Here were the ends

Cut through hard marble by the miners’ skill,

And winzes, stopes and rizes: pitches here,

Where worked the heroic, princely tributer,

This month for nothing, next for fifty pounds.

Here lodes ran wide, and there so very small

That scarce a pick-point could be pressed between;

Here making walls as smooth as polished steel,

And there as craggy as a rended hill.

And out of sparry vagues the water oozed,

Staining the rock with mineral, so that oft

It led the labourer to a house of gems.

Across the mine a hollow cross-course ran

From north to south, an omen of much good;

And tin lay heaped on stulls and level-plots;

And in each nook a tallow taper flared,

Where pale men wasted with exhaustion huge.

Here holes exploded, and there mallets rang,

And rocks fell crashing, lifting the stiff hair

From time-worn brows, and noisy buckets roared

In echoing shafts; and through this gulf of gloom

A hollow murmur rushed for evermore.


Black and white challenge, Allihies copper mines

Allihies copper mines Irish Landscapes : Nigel Borrington

Allihies copper mines
Irish Landscapes : Nigel Borrington

I have been Tagged by Sharon Walters Knight in , Macomb, Illinois on Facebook to take part in a Black and White photo challenge.

I took a good look at some some black and white Landscapes and wanted to post these two images of the Allihies copper mines on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.

Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!

http://www.bing.com/maps/…

These two black and white images show just one of the pump houses, I think there are about 6 of them still standing around the small village. It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .

The steam engine and pump house took water out from the mine shafts and both lowered the miners into and out of the mines some 250 feet below the hill sides. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long doing this work.

The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the site of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes and mostly 20 of them shared the same small house.

Allihies copper mines in black and white .

allihies-copper-mines-1


Allihies Copper Mines

Allihies Copper Mines 3
Allihies copper mines
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Copper mining at Allihies

Mining at Allihies started here in 1812 by John Puxley, a local landlord, after the large quartz promontory to the left here was identified as copper bearing as can be seen by its bright Malachite staining. Dooneen

Initial mining began with a tunnel or adit driven into this quartz lode from the pebble beach below. In 1821 two shafts were sunk as can be seen either side of the road here. Flooding was a continuous problem and in 1823 the engine house was erected to house a steam engine brought over from Cornwall to pump water from the depths. The remains of this building with the base of the chimney can be seen across the road. There is also evidence of a steam powered stamp engine to the left of the chimney and dressing floors in front of the engine house. The high dam further inland is the remaining evidence of a water reservoir which stored the water that was pumped out from the bottom of the mine. It was used for the steam engines and needed to separate the copper from rock. All the rubble on the cliff at the sea side of the road is the crushed useless quartz rock left over after the copper ore was extracted.

This is one of six productive mines in the Allihies area and continued its operation until 1838 when it closed due to failing ore.

John Puxley died in 1860 and in 1868 his son Henry Puxley sold the mines to the new Berehaven Mining Company who reopened the mine and installed a new 22 inch steam engine in 1872. Little ore was produced though in this period and the mine was finally abandoned in 1878.

Allihies Copper Mines 1.

Coom Mine Mianach Chúim

Coom Mine was the last mine to be opened in the Allihies area having been opened in 1870 by the new Berehaven Mining Company who had recently bought the mines from Henry Puxley in 1868.

Two shafts were sunk and the engine house erected to house a 28 inch cylinder steam engine. The site was known as Bewley’s after the Dublin family who were board members of the Berehaven Mining Company.

The working in the mines was dangerous. A Mine Captain reports:

“On the 13 inst. we had a man killed by falling out of the whim bucket in the whim shaft (winding shaft), he fell 72 feet and was killed immediately. … The whim bucket was coming up and he was rather late to get into it, when he laid hold of the edge of it with his fingers and was drawn up nearly to the top in that manner but was obliged to let go at last and fell to the bottom of the shaft. … He was a very able young man – this day we intended to carry him across the mountain to Castletown a distance of 7 miles to have him interred but the weather is so bad with a fall of sleet and snow that it was not possible. … We hope to do the last for him tomorrow.”

In 1917 a further attempt to extract ore was made by Allihies Copper Mines Ltd. which proved fruitless.

Allihies Copper Mines 2

Coom Mine proved not to be a very productive mine. It had only produced 70 or 80 tons of ore when it closed in 1882.


Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork, Ireland

A sense of place (Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork, Ireland) in eight images

Allihies town view
View of Allihies town
Nikon D7000
Landscape photography ; Nigel Borrington

Allihiies, Co Cork is one of my favourite places to stay In Ireland, We have spent some time here and I think it’s very likely we will return.

Mountains and setting

Allihies locational view

Allihies beach view

Allihies Mountain view
.

The town is located at the tip of the Beara peninsular, co cork and is just about as remote a place as you can get. The feeling here is of escape and as such is perfect for a week’s holiday.

The Harbour

Allihies Beach view
.

Copper Mines

The copper mines are the main feature of the town and the museum makes an excellent visit during the week we spent some time in here as it has a great coffee shop with a view of the harbour.

copper mines allihies mine on the hill

old miners cottage above mine

copper mines allihies pan1
.

I will re-visit Allihies over the next weeks with more posts as it is just a wonderful place

All Images taken on a Nikon D7000, in September 2010