Welcome to Wicklow, Ireland’s Ancient East

Wicklow is at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East and is one of Ireland’s most scenic locations; offering  a journey through 5000 years of history with the stunning backdrop of the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea.

The remoteness of the Wicklow Mountains  attracted early settlers and evidence of ancient places of worship  in the form of megalithic tombs, standing stones, ring forts, rock art and ceremonial circles remain scattered throughout the landscape today.

St. Patrick is reputed to have landed along the coast of Wicklow in the 5th Century, sowing the seeds of  Early Christianity which, a century later led to the establishment by St. Kevin of Glendalough, one of  Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. Glendalough, meaning  ‘valley of two lakes’ is located at the heart of Wicklow Mountains National Park and forms one of Irelands most  popular bases for exploring history,  wildlife and the great outdoors.

Ireland's Ancient East Video

The Vikings and later the Normans left their mark along the Wicklow Coast establishing many of the towns, villages, castles and fortifications. The mountains provided a place of refuge over the subsequent centuries of  battles and rebellions that shaped this county and Ireland.  The 1708 Rebellion still echoes around the Wicklow Glens and in the Cells of Wicklow’s Historic Gaol.

Wicklow’s majestic scenery, abundant woodlands and natural resources attracted Anglo Irish settlers  to establish some of Ireland’s best Historic Houses at  Killruddery, Russborough, Avondale and Powerscourt. The beautifully designed landscapes around these houses, many of which can be visited today,  led Wicklow to become known as ‘The Garden of Ireland’.

With easy and fast access to Dublin, Wicklow offers visitors a tremendous base to explore and experience Ireland’s Ancient East.

Find out more about Ireland’s Ancient East at:  http://www.irelandsancienteast.com/

Wicklow Historic Sites

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Discover hidden treasures that illustrate Wicklow and Ireland’s rich heritage dating back 5000 years.

Glendalough Monastic Site


Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”.

Wicklow's Historic Gaol


See two turbulent centuries of Irish history come to life on our new audio-visual journey, complete with holographic displays, life-size mannequins, replica prison ship and interpretative panels.

Killruddery House & Gardens


Home to the Brabazon family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618 Killruddery House is the most successful Elizabethan-Revival mansion in Ireland and the most fashionable of its time.

Mount Usher Gardens


Mount Usher Gardens: where the planting is enchanting!  Created by four generations of the Walpole family beginning in 1868, Mount Usher is recognised at home and abroad as one of the earliest and finest examples of a ‘Robinsonian’ garden

Wicklow Homes & Gardens


Powerscourt, Killruddery, Mount Ushers, Russborough, Kilmaccuragh.  Find here some of Ireland’s best homes and gardens.

Russborough House

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Russborough was built between 1741-1750 and is regarded as one of Ireland’s most beautiful houses. It has magnificent views of the Blessington Lakes and Wicklow Mountains .  In 1978 Sir Alfred Beit opened the house for guided tours and there have been over 1 million visitors since.