Mitchelstown Cave


Useful Information

Location: Co. Tipperary. Mitchelstown lies half way between Cork and Cashel on the N8. From Mitchelstown follow the N8 direction Cashel, 3km behind Kilbeheny turn right towards Bunrcourt, 3.2km off the N8. 13km from Mitchelstown, 15km from Cahir.
Open: APR to SEP daily 10-17:30.
OCT to MAR daily 10-varying closing times.
[2009]
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (0-12) EUR 2.
Groups: Adults £2, Children £1.
[2009]
Classification:  Karst cave.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=2,500m, T=12°C.
Guided tours: L=1,000m, D=30min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Mitchelstown Cave, Burncourt, Cahir, County Tipperary, Tel. +353-52-67246, Fax: +353-52-67943. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:10:02 $

History

 
1601the Earl of Desmond took refuge in the old cave.
1833New Cave discovered by Michael Condon.
1895visited by  E. A. Martel.
1972major development works, electric light.
1983celebration of 150 years discovery of the cave.

Description

Image: A limestone quarry near Mitchelstown.
Mathias J. Duckeck)

The karst around Mitchelstown is restricted to a very small area. The Galtee Mountains consist of sandstone, which contains no caves as it is not soluble by water. But in the southern side of the mountains is the outcrop of a small strip of limestone. This is the location of the caves and it is a material which is quarried for bricks and lime. Mitchelstown Cave is the only cave in this area open to the public.

Mitchelstown Cave was discovered in 1833 by the local farmer Michael Condon. He lost his crowbar in a crack while breaking stones for his house. Trying to find his tool and digging along the crack he opened a cave. This entrance is used until today. When discovered, the area of Mitchelstown Cave was owned by the English Earls of Kingston. But the 40,000ha estate went bankrupt later. The Mulcahy family bought the land on which the cave is situated.

This cave was first called the New Cave, as another cave nearby was known for many years, which then was called the Old Cave. This old cave is today called Desmond Cave, after the Earl of Desmond who took refuge in this cave. Desmond Cave is not open to the public, as a visit is highly dangerous because of a 30m deep entrance pit.

Image: The Entrance of Mitchelstown Cave. detail
Mathias J. Duckeck)

The largest chamber of Mitchelstown Cave is called Tir Na Nog and measures 61m × 49m and is 18m high. The hugest column, called Tower of Babel, stands about 9m high.

In Mitchelstown Cave photography is not allowed! This is nothing special, but the explanation is rather funny:
As the use of cameras seriously damages calcite formations we regret that photography is strictly prohibited.

That is the reason, why there are no pictures of the cave on this page! I didn't want to be responsible for the destruction of the calcite formations....

The new owner told us some years ago, he removed the above sign, so this image is a historic document now. But get it right: it is still forbidden to take pictures, there are just no funny signs any more. We believe, before the owner read our page he believed in his strange explanation. When he read our comment, he asked someone he trusted, who affirmed our explanation. But the story the guides tell is still the same.


See also


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