A Palaeoecological Assessment of the impact of Mining at Glendalough

Abstract from an article in the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland Journal No. 13, 2013, pp. 9-21

This paper presents the preliminary findings of a palaeoecological and geochemical study of a peat core sampled to reconstruct the environmental history at Glendalough and Glendasan, County Wicklow, in order to search for signs of undocumented early metal mining. An increase in lead concentrations raises the intriguing possibility of mining in the Glendalough area from the eleventh century onwards and in particular, a rapid growth from the fifteenth century. This phase of increased lead pollution coincides with the gradual loss of woodland in the area.

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