GALWAY TOWN GEOLOGY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The county of the town comprehends an extensive rural district, comprising 23,000 statute acres. The surface is studded with lakes, and the scenery strikingly diversified; the soil is fertile and in several parts peculiarly favourable to the growth of wheat, of which large quantities are raised. The system of agriculture is improved, and there is abundance of limestone, which is quarried for building and for agricultural purposes. Black marble of a very fine quality is found at Menlough, and also at Merlin Park; both veins have been worked, but the former more extensively, from the greater facility of water carriage at that place. At Menlough is also an apparently inexhaustible vein of fine grey marble.

There are strong indications of iron ore, but no attempt has yet been made to explore it; granite is also found, and in some parts, contrary to the usual order, beneath the limestone formation. After sinking a depth of six feet through the limestone stratum, a white sand of granitic quality, without a pebble, and fine enough for plaistering, has lately been discovered; its depth has not been ascertained, but in some places it is coloured as if by water running from the iron ore. The name of the lake, called by the ancient inhabitants Mine-lough, and which has both a subterranean source and outlet, tends to confirm the opinion that the townland abounds with various minerals. About 40 persons are employed in the marble quarries, and about 1300 in preparing peat for fuel.

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