In 1845 Captain William Thomas discovered and opened the Gortavallig Mine.  The first year of working produced nearly 90 tonnes of copper ore.  It was shipped directly to Swansea.

The mine closed in 1847, maybe due to the panic of the famine and it wa said locally that seawater had penetrated the shaft, making operation too difficult.  Further mines were opened on the peninsula at Killeen North, at Glenruin Cuas and Carivileen.  Further east the Rooska mine yielded copper with silver and lead ore of high quality.

The Sheep’s Head way trail passes by the remains of the Gortavallig Copper mine, mine shafts, pond for washing the copper and the well built row of miner cottages.


    Water and ground in their extremity - The Peninsula by Seamus Heaney


    Helen Ennis, Dunbeacon Pottery

Sheep's Head Peninsula

Sheep's Head Peninsula 1

Sheep's Head Peninsula 2

Sheep's Head Peninsula 3

Fun at Fitzpatricks Bar, Kilcrohane