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Drift and other Superficial Deposits:

Drift: At the N.E. corner of the district (i.e. the whole coal-measure district stretching to Dromagh), there is a drift formed principally of limestone gravel and clay, which appears generally over the limestone and in a few places runs up the valleys into the Coal Measure hills. It is of considerable depth covering near all the limestone of that part. The deep drift which spreads over all the rock in the valley at the foot of the Caherbarnagh range and entirely conceals them to the west of Millstreet, is gravel and clay formed from the debris of the Old Red Sandstone and Coal Measure rocks with here and there an odd limestone fragment. Accumulations of local drift (i.e. formed of the wear of underlying rocks), are found in various places, sometimes of considerable depth. Bogs: A great portion of the mountainous ground has a peat covering, which is sometimes of considerable depth; but when it is merely a growth of peat over undulating ground, it has not been inserted in the map. There are, however, large flat peat bogs in the S.W. corner of the district, one of which is called Annagh bog. Alluvial flats, none of them being of great size or importance, are found along the rivers Blackwater, Feale, and their tributaries.


The three varieties of coal found in the district are Anthracite, Culm and Pindy. The Anthracite is of a dark brown colour, and is generally, except what is got from the Sweet Vein, impregnated with iron pyrites which often occur in nodules and thin layers. Culm is a laminated coal which crumbles when exposed to atmospheric influence. Pindy is carbonaceous shale, or a highly argillaceous (clayey) culm; sometimes it has as much carbon in it that it can be used for fuel. This kind of coal in the county of Limerick is called slaty culm and in the Queen's and Kilkenny Counties, Kelve. A copper mine from which the yellow ore (copper pyrites) was taken was formerly worked in the vicinity of Millstreet and is recorded in Sir R. Griffith's published "List of Mines and Mineral Localities" but the exact place where it was situated could not be ascertained when the district was examined by us "(Ref. in the British Library catalogue: B.S. 38. GC 2/100)

Items from "A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis published 1837:

"Near Churchill a culm mine has been worked for the last six years which employs about 30 persons. The extensive and valuable collieries of Dromagh and Disert, the property of N. Leader, Esq. afford constant employment to a considerable number of persons. Dromagh colliery has been worked for nearly a century. Within the last 15 years a large capital has been expended by the late N. P. Leader, Esq. on useful work connected with the collieries, which are now in excellent order and capable of supplying an extensive demand. Among other improvements he erected a large boulting-mill near the new bridge over the river Allua, which in compliment to him has been named Leader's Bridge. At Clonbanin, Drominagh and Coolclough are other collieries worked by different proprietors. About 40 years since, it was contemplated to open a navigable communication between these collieries and the sea at Youghal by means of a canal cut through the vale of the Blackwater and part of the line between this place and Mallow to the extent of 3.5 miles was actually cut and still remains visible. A railroad in the same direction has also been suggested but no steps have yet been taken for accomplishing that object."


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