Famous for its tranquil beauty, it is difficult to imagine that the Lakes of Killarney were once the setting for mining enterprises at various times over the past four thousand years.
Mined for copper, iron, and possibly lead and silver, these metal mines on the shores of Lough Leane made an important contribution to economy and society through the ages and were even one of the first places where metal was actually made in Ireland. Though mining on a modern industrial scale began in the eighteenth century, the high point came between 1804 and 1828, when nearly 5000 tonnes of copper ore were extracted and shipped from Tralee to Wales, where it was smelted into metal.
Today the site of the Copper Mines, located in the scenic Ross Island, is visited more for its rare beauty rather than its mining legacy as the remnants of copper has left in its place the famous Blue Pool which continues to be admired by locals and travellers alike.
View More Killarney Highlights