• Andrew Winfield

A History of Hidden Gold In Ireland

The Irish origin of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow may be rooted to reality more than you think as the Geological Survey of Ireland confirms that high levels of gold are found in streams near the Goldmines River and Avoca regions of Wicklow, totalling a whopping $667 million of gold. Indeed, the country literally struck gold with its history dating back to as old as 2400 to 2000 BC, but boomed in size during the Bronze Age wherein hoards of the prehistoric, precious metal have been sourced, which is evident in the Bronze Age’s array of gold ornaments such as collars, torcs, and bracelets. Upon closer inspection, these artifacts typically originated from one area, possibly from river gravel and were discovered as mostly crescent-shaped collars, sun-disks, and decorative objects for clothing or other embellishments.

A Rich and Golden Living History

As mentioned above, the early Bronze Age showed an exceptional richness in the quality and quantity of gold in the form of decorative objects used to embellish clothing, wood, or stones. These were not necessarily called as “jewellery”, but known more as regalia wherein it was crafted by goldsmiths to create distinctive clothing or ornaments for royalty or religious ceremonies. A recurring motif during this time was the symbol of the sun and fertility, which many have prayed to and revered for centuries. On that note, it was between 1795 and 1830 BC where an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 ounces of gold were discovered from the alluvial gravels in the Gold Mines River, while the most recent extraction last December 2012 dug up a jackpot of 11.38 troy ounces of gold.

Where Can You Find Gold in Ireland?

1. Wicklow

Wicklow dates back thousands of years with several feet of river gravels in the Woodenbridge area of the city. Beyond stone and gravel, it is truly a place where you can extract gold as it is one of the richest lands. On that note, gold has been discovered in The River Dargle, Avoca, The Avonbeg, and at the foot of Bray Head.

2. Limerick