County Wicklow

On a tour of Ireland you may well get the opportunity to visit this County.

County Wicklow is a maritime county in the province of Leinster.  The county, covering an area of 782 square miles, has a population of around 115,000.  Bordered to the north by County Dublin, Wicklow is divided by a central range of mountains, the highest of which is Lugnaquilla at 3,070 feet above sea level, Ireland’s second highest mountain after Carrauntuohill (3,414 feet) in County Kerry.  The Wicklow mountains were used as a refuge points by rebels from the time of the O’Byrnes in the late sixteenth century to the time of Michael Dwyer and Joseph Holt after the Rebellion of 1798.  These mountains impeded communications between the various regions of the county.  This isolation was the main reason why the county was not formed as an administrative unit until 1606.

The principal rivers in the county are the Liffey and the Slaney.  Wicklow, known as the garden of Ireland, has been a center for regional tourism since the early nineteenth century, principally for attractions like the monastic site at Glendalough and the impressive gardens and waterfall at Powerscourt.  Charles Stewart Parnell, the most important Irish nationalist leader in the second half of the nineteenth century, was born at Avondale House, near Rathdrum.  His family owened an estate there of 3,800 acres.  The celebrated art collection of Sir Alfred Beit is housed at Russborough House, near Bray.  The principal towns in the county are Arklow, Bray, Greystones, and Wicklow, the county capital.