The Glens of Lead are delighted to be part of the National Museum’s iCAN Postcard project for this year’s National Heritage Week.
Representing the mining heritage of the three Wicklow valleys of Glendasan, Glendalough and Glenmalure the image selected for this project depicts the mine at the head of the Glendalough Valley known as Van Diemen’s Land. It was so called by the miners as they deemed it the last place God made on earth. The theme of the project Daoine agus Áit – people and place – is very fitting for the Glens of Lead as the places and people associated with mining are interconnected and intertwined; the people needed work and the place provided it for them for well over one hundred and sixty years. The valley of Glendalough, in the centre of the three valleys, also connects the mining tradition to its neighbouring valleys.
A well know walking route goes through this valley, with walkers passing through the Miners’ Village, up the zig zag, along the boardwalk on Spinc and down to the Upper Lake. This landscape has given enormous pleasure to countless hill walkers exploring the landscape for pleasure. Hopefully, this postcard will bring an awareness to these walkers that many miners walked this way before them on their way to work in perilous conditions, with no consciousness of health and safety. Their only safeguard, perhaps, was their prayers for a safe return to their families.