Where to find gold in Ireland

where to find gold in ireland


There are many locations throughout Ireland where you can find gold. Ireland has had a violent geological history over many millenia, much of this geological activity has been favorable in the laying down of gold.  Many of these places where gold has been deposited may have been well-known to the ancient inhabitants of his land but many seem to have been forgotten, this is usually through –

  • the secrecy of the finder – would you go around telling everyone you could that you had found a vast or decent supply of gold? I doubt it ;).
  • the location of the gold not being passed from generation to generation and it is simply forgotten, this can be for any number of reasons – the famine, children leaving Ireland to go to other countries for work (many Irish men left Ireland to work in the British army in the early 1900s) or even leaving the town/village of their birth to work in the larger cities and towns.
  • the once gold rich area running out of gold (thankfully for us modern gold prospecting tools are much better at extracting gold – even gravels that have been prospected hundreds/thousands of years ago still contain gold due to the inefficiency of the tools at the time)

However, all is not lost, we have been left some small clues by the place names of many of the villages, mountains river and towns around this land as to where gold can be found in Ireland.

Where gold has been found in Ireland

Interestingly, many townships and mountains have gold in their titles, and generally speaking old place names usually earned them for particular reason, they were not just given random names as many housing estates and new townships are nowadays –

Slieve-an-ore (Mountain of the Gold) near Feakle, Co. Clare

Tullynore (Tully-an-ore) (Little Hill of the Gold), Down.

Coom-an-ore (Hollow of the Gold), between Bantry and Dun-
manway, Co. Cork.

Lug-an-ore (Hollow of the Gold), near Clonmel, Tipperary.

Glan-an-ore (Glen of the Gold), Co. Cork.


Underneath several feet of bog in Limerick ancient gold placer mining and smelting materials and equipment has been found, it was dated as being several thousand years old and large enough to have been a considerable operation for several decades, possibly even 100 years.

In the Woodenbridge area of Wicklow a a giant sluice box was found under several feet of river gravels, it too was dated as being thousands of years old. One of the sides of the sluice box was used as a supporting beam for the Woodenbridge Hotel during its construction.

Where to find gold in Ireland today

There are several gold mining companies currently in operation in Ireland. This is currently centered around 2 general areas. These are in Tyrone in Northern Ireland and the Wicklow/Wexford border in Southern Ireland. These two locations are a very profitable area where gold has been found due to the local geology of both places – many millions of years ago and upsurge of molten quartz (during an active geological period n the country which has now subsided) carried large quantities of gold with them, this means that gold has been concentrated here in higher quantities than anywhere else in the country, although gold can be found in many rivers and streams throughout the country in varying quantities.

The gold bearing rivers and streams found in County Wicklow are – The River Dargle,The Avoca, The Avonbeg and gold has also been recorded at the foot of Bray Head, other areas of Ireland have also been found to contain gold in varying quantities are -The River Dodder near Rathfarnham, Cregganbaun and Croagh Patrick, Cavanacaw, Clontibret, Lecanvey and Bohaun in County Glaway. In the bogs of Limerick and Tipperary, extensive gold smelting and forging operations have been discovered several feet underneath the bogs, suggesting a local gold source had been known in the past. Indeed, it is likely that many other gold bearing sources were known all over the country by the ancient inhabitants of this land based on the quantity of gold in the national museums.


As for the GoldMines river in the Woodenbridge area and the possibility of gold prospecting in Ireland today, it is said that up until the 1960s, a local woman (who has since passed away) named Mary Ellen Byrne would often frequent the local and surrounding rivers supposedly made quite a comfortable living from her pursuits. She also tried to gain a mining license with some fellow prospectors to find the source of the Wicklow Gold but was denied for unknown reasons.

where to find gold in wicklow

So, in reflection, is there still gold down around the Goldmines River and surrounding areas? Most definitely – buy a local a few beers, get him drunk and you’ll eventually get a confession out of him, i have personally seen some gold recently recovered from the locality with my own eyes ;), there is still plenty of gold to be found in Ireland. Learn more about the Wicklow Gold here – Gold in Wicklow.