The Ballychorus Lead Mine Tower was built in 1807 after a vein of lead was found within this hill. It is the only example left in Ireland and is regarded as one of the finest examples built in the UK or Ireland. In the 1770’s a process had been discovered whereby additional quantities of lead could be extracted from a furnace if the vapors could be trapped long enough to precipitate the lead, and so, a 2km flue was constructed here to trap these particles. The Mining Company of Ireland (MCI) took over the site in 1826 and began underground mining which lasted up until 1863 when the lead and a small quantity of silver was exhausted. The site continued to process ore from Wicklow, Wexford, Donegal and even as far away as the Isle of Man until it’s closure in 1913. The lead was mainly used for roofing and piping within Dublin’s expanding suburban housing. It was originally one third taller and was designed to carry off the poisonous lead fumes into the atmosphere however many locals reported sickness and high mortality levels and the area was nicknamed ‘death valley’!  Around the area many industrial buildings built from granite involved in the smelting and rolling process survive. These include furnaces, purification tanks, lime kilns, stores, workers cottages and the manager’s house. The name Ballycorus means ‘townland of the Pearse family’ in Irish. Great views and nice walks around this area.

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