Earth Science Conservation Review

Summary Full report
Larkhill - Mineralogy
Rec. Number:542  
ESCC:EO
Locality Type:Road cutting, Spoil heaps Status: ASSI
Grid Reference: H008639 Centroid
County: Fermanagh  
Period:Precambrian
Lithostrat:Slishwood Division, Lough Derg Psammite Formation
Site Description

Larkhill, near Belleek, Co.Fermanagh, August 1997: flooded trench and spoil.
Highlights:
Feldspar-rich pegmatites containing orthoclase, muscovite and quartz, formerly worked for pottery production.
Introduction:
Around 100 years ago pegmatite mining was undertaken in the Larkhill area to supply raw material for pottery production at Belleek. Feldspar-rich pegmatites, hosted by the Lough Derg Psammite Formation (formerly regarded as ‘Moine’, now the Slishwood Division), occur in outcrop and as spoil material associated with former shallow mines in this area.
Description:
The best exposure is located in Scardans Upper Townland, close to Crassowen river, at a recently-quarried roadcut on the private access road to a farmhouse owned (in 1997) by Vincent O’Connor (GR 201 100, 364 000).
Larkhill, near Belleek, Co.Fermanagh, August 1997: pegmatite vein in roadcut.
The roadcut displays a prominent, white-coloured pegmatite vein c.6m high and 1m wide, although it appears wider as the vein intersects the roadcut at an oblique angle.
Larkhill, near Belleek, Co.Fermanagh, August 1997: spoil at old pit.
The spoil heaps occur amongst heather scrub and woodland c.100m west of Mr O’Connor’s farmhouse (GR 200 800, 363 900). The spoil comprises cobble-sized pieces of pegmatite containing salmon-pink coloured orthoclase, white/colourless quartz and less common ‘books’ of muscovite. Two pits were examined: the larger was roughly 2m wide, 10m long and 6m deep. The pits are unfenced and hazardous, indeed a number of other pits in the vicinity of the farm have been infilled and are no longer visible.
Notes:

See also Key Site 127 - Larkhill.

Keywords
Minerals:Muscovite, Orthoclase, Quartz
Rocks:Pegmatite, Psammite
Access
Management:The site is of historical interest. The unfilled pits and adjacent spoil heaps are hazardous, but are relatively inaccessible and the landowner should be encouraged to preserve these remains. The roadcut provides an accessible bedrock exposure of a pegmatite vein and this exposure should be maintained.
Uses
Uses:Scrub and woodland.
References
Rec Type ESCR report Recorder: R. Nawaz and N.R. Moles
Enterer: E M Porter
Updates: 07 MAY 68 / 14 Jul 2006 / 15 Sep 2003 / 27 JAN 01 / 13 JAN 01
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