Botallack was a submarine mine, with tunnels extending under the sea, in places for half a mile. Over its recorded lifetime, themine produced around 14,500 tonnes of tin, 20,000 tonnes of copper and 1,500 tonnes of arsenic.
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If even just one stone could tell me the story...
(Just found it out😊 This curious little ruin lies in a woodland setting in Bushy Park, Rathfarnham. The parkland was donated to Dublin Corporation in 1951 by the Shaw estate, distant relatives to George Bernard Shaw whose ancestor Sir Robert Shaw took up residency in the Bushy Park estate in 1796. The estate was a dowry to his wife Maria from her father Abraham Wilkinson. The little ruin we have here today is what remains of a shell house, a type of Summerhouse decorated with cockles and shells which were collected from the nearby Dublin coastal strands. The building was created as a tea room for the Shaw's to relax and enjoy in a woodland setting. The small shell house is worth seeking out if only for the sylvan walks surrounding it.
We visited on a spring evening thinking it might take some time to locate in the woods but it turned out much easier than expected. We entered the parkland through one of the entrances in the South boundary wall that runs parallel to the River Dodder. A short trek through the trees brought us directly to the spot. The shell house stands adjacent to one of the stone bridges that crosses the narrow lake often referred to as the Duck Pond.
The unusual structure is hexagonal in shape with arched windows and a doorway. It has been constructed using rocks in a manner not unlike the way field walls are built in the West of Ireland. Inside, the graffiti artists have come to call and have coloured the walls which in this case actually adds some effect. From outside the bold colours give a luminosity to the interior. The original plaster is all but gone now but there are still a couple of spots where shells remain embedded, illustrating a little of how decorative it must have looked when it was complete. When the building fell out of use and into ruin is unclear but the more upper class style of the 1800's may not have entirely spilled into the next century when travel and more exciting ventures would have outclassed sipping tea init