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  • Kilchreest
    Photography © 2006
    Knockbeha Mountain
    Knockbeha Mountain

    The rocks of the county, if duly examined, and rendered freely accessible for purposes of export, would probably be found extensively productive in useful stones, earths, and metals: and, even under the very limited inspection are known to possess sufficient wealth to attract the special attention of the economist.

    Limestone, of very various texture, yet generally rich enough in carbonate to be an excellent manure, might be worked in almost every part of the great limestone district; limestone gravel also is comparatively abundant, and forms a ready manure; and, in places where its scarcity combines with its manurial value to render it specially noticeable, it occurs of the following varieties: reddish limestone, in Glenomera, barony of Tulla, ... glimmery black limestone, near Six-mile-Bridge, black fossiliferous limestone, and black schistose or laminated limestone, in the glen of the Slieve-an-Oir rivulet, which runs on the boundary with Galway.

    Lead ore, in some instances apparently rich and abundant, occurs on the Colpoys estate near Tulla, on the lands of Class ... and in Glendree near Feacle iron ore variously in the stone near Spansel Hill.

    ... the eastern or Slieve Baughta mountainous district, consists of moor or bog, varying in depth from two inches to many feet, and lying upon a ferruginous clay, or upon sandstone rock. p. 402-3

    "The Parliamentary gazetteer of Ireland: adapted to the new poor-law, franchise, municipal and ecclesiastical arrangements, and compiled with a special reference to the lines of railroad and canal communication, as existing in 1844-45 ... and presenting the results, in detail, of the census of 1841, compared with that of 1831" (1846)

    Source: Internet Archive


    The scenery, which at first is flat and uninteresting, except to an agricultural eye, increases in attraction as you progress towards Limerick, and is exceedingly beautiful about Lough Derg, There are delightful residences on either side, of which we admired particularly Portumna, my Lord Clanricard's[1] and a place called Derry. The view from the upper windows of this latter home must be "a sight to make an old man young". The mountains, inclosed and cultivated, have a tame unnatural look, as though they had been brought here from Connamara, and been broken to carry corn; and they wear a strange, uncomfortable aspect, like some Cherokee Chief in the silk stockings and elegant attire of our Court.

    Here and there, in mid-stream, are beacons of an original pattern.

    The cormorants flew heavily away before us, but the heron moved not from the sighing sedge - still and grey as the stone on which he stood - nor seemed to note the seething waters, which swelled around him as the steamer passed.

    [1] Would that his motto were the watchword of every Irishman: "Ung foy, ung roy, ung loy!" p. 116-118.

    "A Little Tour of Ireland: being a visit to Dublin, Galway, Connamara, Athlone, Limerick, Killarney, Glengarriff, Cork, Etc. Etc. Etc." (1859)
    S. Reynolds Hole

    Source: Internet Archive


    Iron ore was formerly raised in the neighbourhood of Woodford, and after being mixed with that brought up the Shannon from Killaloe by a Mr. Croasdale, was smelted near that village, part of the estate of Sir John Burke. The works were carried on so extensively, that they devoured all the great oak woods with which that country abounded, and were then abandoned. Mr. Berry, I understand, at present raises ore on part of Lord Clanrickard's estate; and indications of iron are every where visible in the mountains between Woodford and Mountshannon. The refuse of those bloomeries has been used for making excellent roads by the late Sir Thomas Burke. p.33.

    "A Statistical and Agricultural Survey of the County of Galway: With Observations on the Means of Improvement" (1824)
    Hely Dutton

    Source: Internet Archive


    The eastern district of Galway has not been geologically described, but, with the exception of a portion of the sandstone and clay-slate formation of the Slieve Boughta range, which it includes, and of the range of the Slieve Dert hills on the border of Roscommon, is understood to consist almost wholly of the same floetz limestone tract which extends over the central plain of Ireland.

    In the eastern district ironstone has been found at Woodford, Gort, and Lawrencetown: the works at the first place were carried on extensively at one time; but the supply of wood for smelting having been exhausted, they have been long since given up. Manganese is of frequent occurrence in the district about Gort, particularly in the neighbouring mountain of Slieve-an-oir (or 'the Gold Mountain') on the Clare boundary. Potters' clay and yellow ochre occur in the country about Athenry. A fine grit, fit for millstones, is raised near Dunmore; and the Slieva Boughta mountains above Loughrea afford an excellent stone for polishing marbles. p.59

    "The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" (1838)

    Source: Internet Archive


    I shot an immature Longtailed Duck (Harelda glacialis) on Lough Derg on Monday last, December 2nd. The bird was one of a pair. I also shot two more out of three (also immature birds) on the 27th December, 1890. These are the only two occasions on which I have seen them since I came here in 1888. As they are by no means common so far south (vide Seebohm) the fact seems worthy of record. p.28

    "The Irish Naturalist" (Vol. V, 1896)
    R. F. Hibbert, Scariff, Co. Clare

    Source: Internet Archive