The Earlshill Colliery and Powder House Slieveardagh, is part of an enormous industrial coal mining landscape that once stretched from Tipperary to Castlecomer. The powder house is the last example of a Cornish powder house from a coal mine that survives in Ireland. The Slieveardagh Mining Group want to preserve and protect the important industrial heritage of the locality, and to raise awareness of the social history of the area.
Earlshill Colliery and Powder House
The Slieveardagh Coalfields spread right through Tipperary all the way to Castlecomer in County Kilkenny, and towns and villages were created around the mines that employed so many workers. Some of the best-preserved and most significant remains can be found in the Slieveardagh region of Tipperary. For this project, the Slieveardagh Mining Group have chosen to ‘adopt’ the Powder House.
The Powder House is believed to be Ireland’s last example of a Cornish Powder House or Magazine from a coal mine. Due to its rarity, the site is of significance and so its preservation is important to both the local community and as an important component in the story of Ireland’s mining heritage.
The Community: Slieveardagh Mining Group
The Slieveardagh Mining Group was formed in 2013, with the aim of preserving and promoting the important mining heritage of the Slieveardagh region. The group is made up of former miners and local enthusiasts. The group have already achieved many gatherings of ex-miners and their families, and recorded their stories for posterity, as well as carrying out a number of projects with local schools. Including this wonderful short animation by David Quin featuring the voices of some of those who worked in the mines. It gives a unique insight into the difficult and dangerous work faced by the miners.
Slieveardagh Mining Group with Dr Colin Rynne (UCC) at the Powder House