Mining in Glendalough dates back to the 1790’s where lead, zinc and silver were mined both in the Glendalough Valley and the next adjacent Valley, Glendasan. Mining in this area took place for over 150 years and at the peak of production 2,000 miners were employed. Mining continued up until 1957.
Remains of the mining villages can be easily accessed from the National Park. The remains of the mines can only be accessed on foot.
Check out the Glens of Lead Facebook Page for more about mining histrory in the area. This site is dedicated to the history and heritage of 4 mining valleys in County Wicklow, Ireland: Glendalough, Glendasan, Glenmalure and Lough Dan- www.facebook.com/GlensOfLead
These four valleys share a rich mining heritage that dates from at least the eighteenth century and maybe even earlier. Glens of Lead is undertaking detailed surveying of all extant mining remains in order to build a GIS to understand the inter-relationship between seemingly discrete elements of the relict mining landscape. Then, using primary and secondary documentary sources, we aim to ‘people’ this remarkable landscape. Many thousands of people worked at the various mines and dressing floors over the centuries and Glens of Lead is trying to trace who these people were, in order to place them into our database of mineworkers. Many took their considerable skills overseas and helped to build the mining industry worldwide. We are also conducting an oral history project with former mineworkers and their families to ensure that their memories are recorded for posterity and vital social history, not recorded elewhere, can be used as a resource to inform future generations. Glens of Lead seeks to educate and to inspire visitors to County Wicklow, by offering an alternative narrative for the area.