School: Cormongan (roll number 13164)

Cormongan, Co. Leitrim
Seán Mac Amhalghaidh

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Cormongan | The Schools’ Collection

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0207, Page 528

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About the year 1650, there was a furnace for smelting Iron ore in the downland of Cornashameogue, situated on the east side of Lough Allen. The ore had to be conveyed to the furnace for a distance of about 3 miles. For this purpose a canal was made. The canal ran by the foot of the mountain. Several rivers flow westward from the mountain into Lough Allen. The largest of these is the stoney river, a river that becomes a roaring torrent in times of heavy rain, often overflowing its banks, and causing great destruction, to lands, crops and houses. Build the time mentioned above, about the year 1650. The water of the stoney river was diverted into the canal. The canal then was fed principally by this river, and in a lesser degree by the other smaller rivers that ran in the same direction. All the rivers ran at right angles to the canal. The water also supplied the power that worked the furnace. The site of the furnace can still be pointed out, and the field in which it is situated has got the name of the Furnace Meadow. This furnace was in operation about the same time as, and may have some connection with the furnace, or furnaces, at Drumshanbo, which would be about 3 miles away. Iron ore was conveyed to the Drumshanbo furnaces by boat, on Lough Allen. The sources of supply, were, the Slieven an Iern, Ballinaglera, Arigna mountains, all situated around Lough Allen. It is thought that the town of Drumshanbo had its origin in these industries. As to the Slieve an Iern canal, there are but very meagre traces of it at the present time.

Mary Josephine Reynolds
Cormongan, Co. Leitrim
Patrick Mc Loughlin
Greaghnaguillaun, Co. Leitrim