Glengowla Mines

Glengowla Silver and Lead Mines

Useful Information

Location: Glengowla, Oughterard.
N59 Galway/Clifden, 3 km west of Oughterard, Connemara.
(53.418158, -9.374363)
Open: MAR to NOV daily 10-18, tours every 20 min, last tour 17.
DEC to FEB after appointment.
Fee: Adults EUR 10, Children (0-18) EUR 4, Students EUR 9, Family (2+2) EUR 25.
Groups (16+): reductions available.
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineLead Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=40 min.
Address: Glengowla Mines, Oughterard, County Galway, Tel: +353-91-552021, Tel: +353-87-2529850, Fax: +353-91-552360. 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.


1851 mining started.
1865 mine closed.
1999 opened to the public.


The mining followed ore veins in marble, which contain calcite and quartz and of course some ores. Lead and silver was found in form of galena and pyrite. The total production of the mine during 14 years was 390 tons of lead and 28 kilograms of silver.

Among mineral collectors the mine is famous for its rare and beautiful minerals. There are quartz, calcite, barite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and the rare blue-green octahedral fluorite crystals.


Glengowla Mine is a historic 19th century silver and lead mine. It shows the techniques of ore extraction and processing during this time. On the surface several buildings have been restored, the powder magazine, blacksmith's workshop and the agent's cottage. Different items rescued from the mine during the development are on display in these buildings. A hand windlass and a horse-gin have been constructed. The plunger of the main pump is on display in the restored Captain's cottage.

After the museum the visitors get a miner hard hat and the underground tour starts. It shows the typical mining techniques of the first half of the 19th century, including chisel marks on the wall. The walls show marble and octahedral crystals of fluorite and quartz.

The mine is a popular film set and was used mostly for western movies, but also for documentaries. For the Irish TV series An Klondike a whole town was built on the farm. The series received dozens of nominations and awards.

The abandoned mine is now a farm. Beneath the mine tour there are also turf cutting and sheep herding demonstrations.