This location took us by surprise as we had no plans at all to pay it a visit. We never even heard of the place until a work colleague mentioned it. The leadmine is long abandoned and sits in the Dublin Hills overlooking the townland of Ballycorus.
Opened around 1807, the mine was taken over by the Mining Company of Ireland (MCI) in 1826 who owned and operated the site up until closure in 1913. After the mine was exhausted in the 1860s, Ballycorus continued to operate as a smelting facility receiving ore from other MCI sites such as the mines in Glendalough, County Wicklow. The most distinctive surviving remnant of the site is the ruin of the flue chimney that lies close to the summit of Carrickgollogan hill. Further down the slopes of the hill, many other former buildings and structures from the leadworks can also be found.
Many of the workers at the mine died of lead poisoning giving the surrounding are the nickname “Death Valley”. This was the result of extra lead being extracted using a process which involved trapping vapours from reverberatory furnaces which, if held long enough, precipitated lead.
Today the most visible remnant of the mine is the flue chimney (pictured above). The surrounding land is owned by the state forestry (Coillte) and is managed by the Dublin Mountains Partnership. Much of the flue, along with many of its inspection hatches still exists and can be explored. In addition, a number of buildings from the smelting works situated in the valley below also survive to the present day.