After a farmer discovered ‘galena’ (the natural mineral form of lead sulfide) just under the soil surface, the Glengowla mine was setup with mining commencing in 1851. The mine was in operation until 1865, and finally measured 40 metres deep and 200 feet wide. 

Mining at Glengowla centred on silver and lead, though Connemara marble, gold, dolomite, quartz, and rare green and blue octahedral fluorite were also mined. The Glengowla Mines is Ireland’s first ‘show mine’, offering guided tours throughout the mines giving a sense of the conditions in the mines back in the 1800’s. 

The centre also features activities for kids, a traditional working farm and a museum displaying artefacts. The mine is also home to a seismograph which is part of Ireland’s National Seismic Network. Lastly, the mine was used as a filming location in the film, ‘An Klondike’.