Ireland’s industrial heritage is represented in the Adopt a Monument Scheme by a community from the picturesque Glenmalure County Wicklow, who applied to adopt the large nineteenth century ore crusher building at Baravore. It stands as a testament to the hard working miners and entrepreneurial pioneers who sought to delve into the rich natural resources that lay hidden in the valleys.
New Crusher Building, Baravore, Glenmalure
The New Crusher building is a two storey building of cut stone granite built in 1859-60. It is recognised as undoubtedly the finest extant example in Ireland of a rolls crusher house. The building is erected into the slope of the hillside and its design and location were for two purposes: firstly to make use of a supply of water power from the moraine lake behind and secondly to house the type of crushing apparatus it was to accommodate. It was constructed towards the end of the mining era in Baravore and still stands as a testament to the entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century who sought to make their living from the rich mineral lodes which lay hidden deep in these valleys
The Community Group: Glenmalure PURE Mile Group
Glenmalure PURE Mile Committee was formed in 2013. The group endeavors to keep the area litter free in addition to enhancing the appearance of hedgerows, gates and built heritage. Another aspect of the group’s work is the research of the local, natural and built heritage of the area and the communicating and sharing of this knowledge with the local community and to tourists and visitors to the area.
A very successful information and storytelling evening was held in Glenmalure County Wicklow, which was organised by the Adopt a Monument team and the local group where over 50 people from the locality came along to share stories about life in the valley in the past.
In 2016, The Adopt a Monument Scheme helped the community group to liaise with the landowners; Coillte (Irish Forestry Commission) and Wicklow County Council to help to conserve and record the building and mining complex. In November 2016, conservation works (funded by Wicklow County Council and Coillte) were carried out on the New Crusher Building to stabilise the walls and make the building safe for future generations. The work was carried out by experienced stone mason Kevin Carrigan under the direction of conservation architect Ivor McElveen.
A celebration weekend was held in March 2017. This involved tours of the valley, demonstrations by the stone masons that carried out the conservation works, a small archaeological excavation of the floor of the building and children’s events. This successful weekend was aimed at celebrating the fantastic work that had been carried to protect the building for future generations.
The group will turn their attention in 2018, to the older, more fragile Crusher Building that was badly damaged in recent winter storms. They hope to continue working with Coillte and Wicklow County Council to carry out conservation works on that building and to open up more publicly accessible walks around the mining complex.
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"It is a dream come true as it provides national recognition of the significance of this historical building in our valley. Our efforts to record and raise public awareness of the rich mining heritage of Glenmalure will be greatly enhanced by being part of this scheme".
Carmel O' Toole, Glenmalure PURE Mile Group