The name Huelgoat comes from the Breton huel meaning high and goat for wood. The Celts and Romans already exploited the area’s lead and silver mines. However, the local mining industry reached its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Around 1,600 miners indeed extracted up to 700 tonnes of lead and nearly 2 tonnes of silver per year. These mines left their name to the river Argent that flows from the 15h lake that sits at the centre of Huelgoat. German miners constructed two canals in the 16th century in order to run the hydraulic machinery at the old lead and silver mine, which is nestled in the heart of the forest. All that is left of it, though, are old mine workings, the wheel and ruined master’s house.
However geologists and geographers are currently more interested in the Mill blockfield (the giant granite boulders) and what the area means to us in the 21st Century.
Derry taught foundation geography courses at Marjon and placed strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in all aspects of their work. It was so important to take students out into the field to engage them first hand with the topics covered in the classroom as I believe there is no better way to aid memory than through personal experience.
Derry has been involved with the South West Region of the Royal Geographical Society for many years, 19 of them spent on the SW Committee. She was chair of the Committee for 15 years and at the Societies 2023 Medals and Awards Ceremony was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for services to the Society.