The West Wicklow Granite Quarries

 

The granite quarries of West Wicklow are all closed now:- 

  • The earliest workings, at Baltyboys, which go back to 1700 or before, have been abandoned and forgotten
  • At Woodend, the workings were abandoned in the 1780s and the nearby settlement where the quarrymen lived has disappeared, with only the ruin of the tiny church still remaining
  • At Threecastles, the granite workings of the Tassie family have been closed since the 1830s, and they are now forgotten
  • The famous Golden Hill quarry can only be identified by the 30m high quarry-face which the stonecutters abandoned in 1824 when they moved to Ballyknockan.  

 

 

 

Ballyknockan is now the only location in West Wicklow easily identifiable as a former quarrying location,

 

 

but with its quarries closed and abandoned since the 1970s,

                                      . . . the village of Ballyknockan feels eerily quiet. 

 

 

 

 

Many of its buildings lie in ruins . . . 

. . . but it still retains the ghosts of the stone-cutters of old.

 

 

 

 

They are commemorated by fine headstones in the local graveyards . . . .

 

  . . . .  and by the beautiful stained-glass windows in their local church at Valleymount,

 

 

 

 

 

but their most important legacy can be seen in the Dublin buildings they created.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This page added March 2012.  Revised October 2015

 

 

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