Arigna Mining Experience

Arigna minesAfter my trip to Boyle I went to the Arigna Mining Experience.  It’s some years since I’ve been here and last time I wasn’t interested in photography so it was nice to go and take some photos.

The GatheringThe centre gives visitors an insight into what coal mining life was like in the Arigna Valley, since its beginning in the 1700’s until closure in 1990.

Ready to go inWe all had to put on hard hats before going into the mine, just as well because even though I’m short I managed to hit my head off a rock!

Going undergroundThe tour is given by ex-miners who used to work in the mine, so they told us all about what life was like for them.

Sacred HeartJust as we entered the caves there was a picture of the Sacred Heart, praying must have featured a lot on the lives of the miners, it was a scary job.  Seamus our tour guide was telling us there were no such things as helmets when his father worked in the mine and he just had a flat cap.

SeamusThe men also got paid by the amount of coal they mined.  They spent the day in very narrow tunnels mining the coal, there were no such things as masks so when they hit into the coal dust would fly all over the place.

Coal cartsThe coal was loaded onto carts and taken out of the mine.  Seamus was saying it was very hard to see as before miners lamps were invented they just worked by candlelight.  So it was a long shift on their stomachs in almost darkness.

Plant undergroundIt was amazing that there are plants growing in the mine.

Coal tunnelAbove is the size of the tunnels that the miners would have worked in, they had to stabilise it with timber, in the hope the tunnel wouldn’t fall in on them. Accidents did happen though and some men lost their lives in the mines.

SeamusTowards the lightThe tour lasted for about 40 minutes and there is also an exhibition before you go into the mine and a lovely cafe too.  The views outside are fantastic, it’s well worth a visit.

View from Arigna minesWaterfall

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6 thoughts on “Arigna Mining Experience

  1. Jazzygal says:

    Sounds fascinating and your photos are wonderful. My boy would enjoy this and would probably take some rocks/coal remnants home with him as he usually does!

    xx Jazzy

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