Muckish Mountain Part 3 Abandoned Mining Equipment




My most recent two post have been an account of a hill walking trip up Muckish Mountain in County Donegal.  In them, I mentioned a route up the mountain, known as the Miners Track, and a fuller account of its origins and history can be found in Muckish Mountain Part 2.  Briefly, it was a route used by miners to a point hight on the northern side of Muckish, where quartz sand was extracted to be used in glass making, particularly during the Second World War, when normal sources in Europe, for the British market, were unavailable.


Despite the high quality of the sand, it was usually uneconomic to mine it here due to its inaccessable location, and when the war ended, the mining soon came to a halt again.  The abandoned equipment is still there however, rusting high on the mountain side and it is a fascinating location to walk around, although the narrow path winding up the steep face of Muckish won’t be for everyone.


Most of the equipment is now scattered and broken, and half buried in the quartz sand, it appears that fittingly having once been used to consume parts of the mountain, it is now being subsumed in return by Muckish.



































































Just one of the fascinating things to entce you into ascending the brilliant Muckish.

6 thoughts on “Muckish Mountain Part 3 Abandoned Mining Equipment

  1. Great series of posts from Muckish, Aidy. I was particularly fascinated with the photos of the mining equipment and your description of the miners ascending the mountain every day.

    1. Cheers John. I was pleased with my ascent until I began to think that was just the walk to work for those men. I Wouldn’t have been fit for much mining when I got to the top!

  2. Great pictures. I love places like that – you can almost sense the ghosts. I wonder how all that equipment was operated. Do you think it was all manual or did they have to drag all the fuel up the mountain every day?

    1. Some it of was definitely mechanical Jessica, with a large engine on the digging equipment in particular. Everything inolved must have been a huge effort – which explains why they soon abandoned it after the war! Brilliant mountain with so much to see.

  3. Hi, Hubby and I have just been up on Muckish for the second time, what a fab mountain! so interesting, and the views, wow! We went by the south route – nervous about the miners path – but absolutely love your photos and info about the miners and their path, maybe I’ll tackle it one day…..

    1. Thanks Julie – appreciate your kind comment. I think you’re right to avoid any route you’re not sure about – I’ve turned back in a few places! You might find its less intimidating if you think though, if you keep telling yourself you can turn back any time, and only proceed with each step if you easily reverse. Enjoy the hills!

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