I took this photo of the old copper mine at Tankardstown in County Waterford about six years ago and came across it today on an old external drive that I found lying in a drawer. Apart from the excitement of finding thousands of photos that I thought I’d lost, I was also thrilled to find that I’d the original raw files for many of them. I’ll be posting a few of the photos here as I go through them.
The mines at Tankardstown encompassed the main operations of the Mining Company of Ireland in the 19th century, when the company moved its works from Knockmahon after 25 years. From 1850 to 1865 the mines operated successfully before entering into a gradual decline. In 1877 the mines were decommissioned.
The Copper Coast
The Coppercoast Geopark website gives an interesting insight into various mine accidents that occurred over the years, as well as providing links to further information on the mines and the surrounding area. But there’s nothing like taking a trip to this scenic coastal area and seeing for yourself the magnificent ruins of the winding engine house, the heron’s shaft, and the pumping engine house.
As an extra, surely one of the most interesting stories is that of missing postman, Larry Griffin, who disappeared in 1929. While not directly linked to the mines, his disappearance did result in a search of them. Waterford County Museum have a photo of the search in progress in Bunmahon mines on their website. If a fascinating tale of intrigue is what you’re after, then boil the kettle, curl up with a cup of tea, and read the Wiki on the incident.