The idea of the Allihies Copper Mine Museum (ACMM) was born when a group of Allihies residents came together to discuss how to preserve and present the local copper mining heritage. The museum finally opened its doors in May 2007 and was attended by then president Mary McAleese. The museum is not seen as a static entity but rather a continuous work in progress with new material being added as it comes to light. It is envisaged that ACMM will develop into a rich source of information on mining and local history for anyone seeking further study. The Allihies Copper Mine Museum building also contains an exhibition area for artists to display their work, and the amazing Copper Cáfe. The museum also offer guided tours in the region such as the Copper Mine Trail or Dursey Island please contact us in advance to discuss any guided tour you’d wish to paricipate in to avoid any disappointment.
The museum is housed in the Methodist church built in 1845 for the Cornish miners who came to work in Allihies. It tells the story of copper mining at Allihies from the Bronze Age right up to the 1960s when mining activities ceased.
This is an essential starting point on your trip to Allihies, you’ll discover the story of the Puxley Family, in particular “Copper John”, and how they led they the charge in extracting the precious copper ore beneath them.
There are sections on geology, history and geography of this unique place through artifacts, models, photographs, illustrations, original drawings and documents, diagrams, maps, interactive media and our small library.
There is also a museum shop on the premises. Many of our exhibits can be handled. There is even a model of the Man Engine that took miners down to the copper veins – the only one ever installed in Ireland!You will discover Interestingly, we also outline the social impacts which developed as a result of the mines.
There is a section devoted to the Cornish community, and another to those Allihies miners who left to work in Butte, Montana, where substantial mining operations evolved. Many of today’s Butte residents bear the same surnames as Allihies families.
Daphne du Maurier based her book ‘Hungry Hill’ on the Puxley family, who owned the Allihies mines in the nineteenth century and the story of the real people is no less fascinating.
A more scholarly history of the mines was written by R A Williams (‘The Berehaven Copper Mines’). The original nineteenth century Cost Books are on display, these give some interesting insights into the lives of the miners and the hardships they endured.
Sample gallery of museum
We have ample seating both inside and outside. During the summer season we display temporary rotating exhibits of works from the area’s vibrant artistic community.
You can also wander around the Art Gallery upstairs at your leisure. Please do check out our facebook page to find out what exhibitions are on when
Open daily from April to October 10.30am – 5.pm, open weekdays October-April 10.30am-5.00pm, we can accommodate groups during off season, please contact us in advance to avoid any disappointment.
The cafe is on the same premises as the museum, there are spectacular views down to Ballydonegan beach.
We offer a warm friendly service, we source most of our produce locally , dependent on the season, so whether you are about to embark on the Copper Mine Trail or have just returned, treat yourself , we offer everything from caramel lattes, to locally sourced crab in our open sandwich range.
The Allihies Copper Mine Museum and the Community Hall have hosted many great acts over the years from Sharon Shannon, Liam O’Maonlai to Rebecca Storm, be sure to check out our events calendar for upcoming gigs and concerts.