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.