Stairway to heaven

The Ballycorus chimney stands on a hilltop near Dublin, Ireland
Stairway to heaven Stairway to heaven Stairway to heaven Stairway to heaven Stairway to heaven

Ailbhe Goodbody

Built in 1858, it was connected with the lead smelting works in the valley below by a substantial flue, 1,600m long and up to 3m high, constructed of granite and brick.

The flue and chimney not only helped to carry away the toxic fumes from smelting the lead, but also served as a means of recovering lead from the flue gases. The smelters were shut down periodically and the workers sent into the flue to clean the lead off the walls – so much lead was recovered that the cost of this sizeable chimney and flue was recovered within three years.

Photo: Rob Goodbody