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Tullyratty, near CastlewardDown
Tullyratty, near Castleward, Co.Down, June 1997: entrance to Sharvin Farm.
Summary Full report
Site Type: Mine (disused), Spoil heaps
Site Status: PASSI
Grid Reference: X35663485
Rock Type: Siltstone
Minerals: Chalcopyrite, Galena, Sphalerite
Other interest: hydrothermal vein, No Data

Summary of site:

There have been very few mineral mines in Northern Ireland that were more than one or two man trial pits but the mine at Tullyratty was one. The mineral vein here was discovered in 1828 and by 1842 12 men were employed and there were ambitious plans to take on more. After an attempted revival in 1853 it appears that interest ceased and the mine was abandoned.

All that now remains is a ruined stone house 50 m north east of the farm with a stone shed upslope to the north, the mine house and the powder house respectively. There are also overgrown spoil heaps. There were two shafts, an inclined adit with a circular horse walk near the mine house and a vertical sinking 12 m deep across the road beyond the farm. The ore source was a crushed and fragmented vein of the local bedrock, a green, mineralised Silurian mudstone containing galena (lead sulphide), sphalerite (zinc sulphide) and small amounts of chalcopyrite (copper iron sulphide). Silver, normally found in galena, was almost non-existent here. The minerals were deposited from hot, deep brines circulating through the rocks in Carboniferous times around 300 million years ago. As one of the few sites preserving mining infrastructure, with spoil heaps still capable of providing good examples of the chief ore minerals, it deserves protection.

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