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Mount Gabriel 407m,
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Mizen/Sheeps Head Area
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Mount Gabriel Hill Cnoc Osta A name in Irish
(Ir. Cnoc Osta [logainm.ie], poss. 'hill of the encampment') Cork County, in Carn List, Purple mudstone and siltstone Bedrock

Height: 407m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 88 Grid Reference: V93118 34864 This summit has been logged as climbed by 55 members. Recently by: corkrats, Bernieor, madfrankie, wicklore, Robbiebc, frankmc04, kiwisimon, MichaelE, Wildrover, Cobhclimber, jcincork, redspud, chalky, Flatout, slebog
I have climbed this summit: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -9.541807, Latitude: 51.556828 , Easting: 93118, Northing: 34864 Prominence: 312m,   Isolation: 4.1km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 493091 534934,   GPS IDs, 6 char: MntGbr, 10 char: MntGbrl
Bedrock type: Purple mudstone and siltstone, (Castlehaven Formation)

Mount Gabriel was an important source of copper in the Early Bronze Age, with more than 30 mines having been found on its southern slopes, consisting of small tunnels dug into the mountainside. These are remarkably well preserved since they were mostly covered over by massive bog growth, leaving them untouched since the miners of the Early Bronze Age abandoned them [Daphne Pochin Mould, Discovering Cork]. The area was excavated in 1985 by William O'Brien, who judges that the mining was on such a large scale that it cannot have been merely for use in Ireland, but rather that the copper was mainly exported to Europe. The Irish name of the hill recorded by Bruno O'Donoghue in his Parish Histories and Placenames of West Cork is Cnoc Fhosta, 'hill of the encampment'.   Mount Gabriel is the highest hill in the Mizen/Sheeps Head area and the 908th highest in Ireland.

Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/792/
COMMENTS for Mount Gabriel 1 of 1
Access Rd to top .. by group   (Show all for Mount Gabriel)
 
There is a God and he left the gate open! .. by jackill   (Show all for Mount Gabriel)
 
Illustrating how it bulks over the surrounding la .. by simon3   (Show all for Mount Gabriel)
 
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Mount Gabriel in area Mizen/Sheeps Head, Ireland
Picture: Entrance to one of the Bronze Age mines
 
A Bronze Age Hive of Activity
by kernowclimber  26 Nov 2011
Bishop Dives Downes, visiting Mount Gabriel around the turn of the C18th, a place of great natural beauty with extensive views over Roaringwater Bay, described the mountain as ‘… a haunt of wolves; there are no trees nor shelter except rocks and bogs’. He would have been unaware that the mountain has much more to commend it than just fantastic scenery. For scattered amid the rocks and blanket bog of the mountain’s eastern and southern slopes, are the remains of over 30 individual copper mines driven in sedimentary (old red sandstone) copper beds invaded by quartz veins. These date from between 1700 and 1500 BC in the Bronze Age.

Ireland was one of the main sources of Bronze Age copper which was used in the production of various metal items including axes, the high status symbols of their day, and Mount Gabriel was one of a number of sites that were once hives of industrial activity. Excavations here by one of Europe’s foremost Bronze Age archaeologists, William O’Brien of Galway University, has revealed evidence of mine workings, spoil heaps, mineral processing areas, stone axe manufacture and wood preparation areas. Artefacts recovered from inside the Mount Gabriel workings include smooth oval shaped stone mauls used to excavate the rock. These would have been specially transported inland from the coast some 4 km away. Fragments of wooden tools were also recovered (predominantly of oak, hazel and alder) and were identified as picks, wedges, axe hafts, withies (used as binding on stone axes) shovels and planks. Significant quantities of charcoal was found both inside the workings and on the spoil heaps close to the entrances. The workings at Mount Gabriel were excavated by means of fire setting that consumed vast amounts of round-wood felled in the immediate vicinity and such activity led to the beginning of the destruction of Ireland’s ancient tree cover.

Parking at the Barnancleeve Gap, visitors to the mountain can find the mines, a series of inclined drifts to the right of the small stream that flows down the eastern slope, betrayed by the proximity of fragments of broken quartz where the mineral was processed. If you are lucky you can find the broken remains of maul stones used to ‘spall’ (crush) the mineralised rock on anvil stones. The mines range in size from 1m to 12m in depth; some are flooded or choked with peat but one or two are still open and, although a little muddy, it is possible to crouch through the narrow entrance void and travel back through time into these ancient workings. These evocative caverns bear the unmistakeable scalloped patterning of workings excavated using fire setting to break the rock and the walls are streaked in places with the tell tale turquoise copper carbonate mineralisation.

Please take only pictures and do not disturb the archaeology. For more information see O’Brien, W., 'Mount Gabriel: Bronze Age Mining In Ireland', Galway University Press, 1994. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/792/comment/6634/
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Does driving up count? .. by exaisle   (Show all for Mount Gabriel)
 
(End of comment section for Mount Gabriel.)

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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here