St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal

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Glentown Slate Quarry, St Johnston - the early history

The earliest mention of slate quarrying in the St Johnston area comes from 21st October 1786.  The quarry was made up at Ardagh and  it was let out to slate manufacturers.  There was controversy at the time because rather than one hole several holes were opened and moves were put in place to try and stop this.  Complaints had been made about damage done to the area.  At the time, slating was becoming more and more popular and the demand was there.  Those who had a bit of money preferred to have their houses slated for convenience and safety.  The risk of fire in thatched houses was well-known. 

Though the St Johnston and Carrigans area wasn’t too badly affected by the famine, the quarry up at Glentown St Johnston was used to raise funds towards famine relief.  The quarry was closed shortly after the famine.  The quarry was active again throughout most of the 1930’s and in 1940 it was closed down.