County Wicklow

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County Wicklow

Contae Chill Mhantáin
Coat of arms of County Wicklow
Coat of arms
The Garden of Ireland
Meanma Saor  (Irish)
"Free Spirits"
Location of County Wicklow
Dáil ÉireannWicklow
EU ParliamentSouth
County townWicklow
 • TypeCounty Council
 • Total2,027 km2 (783 sq mi)
Area rank17th
Highest elevation925 m (3,035 ft)
 • Total142,425
 • Rank16th
 • Density70/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
A63, A67, A98 (primarily)
Telephone area codes01, 0402, 0404 (primarily)
Vehicle index
mark code

County Wicklow (/ˈwɪkl/ WIK-loh; Irish: Contae Chill Mhantáin [ˈkɔn̪ˠt̪ˠeː ˌçiːl̠ʲ ˈwan̪ˠt̪ˠaːnʲ]) is a county in Ireland. The last of the traditional 32 counties, having been formed as late as 1606, it is part of the Mid-East Region and the traditional province of Leinster. It is bordered by the Irish Sea to the east and the counties of Wexford to the south, Carlow to the southwest, Kildare to the west, and Dublin to the north. It is named after its county town of Wicklow, which derives from the name Víkingaló (Old Norse for "Vikings' Meadow"). Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county, which had a population of 142,425 at the 2016 census.[2] Colloquially known as the "Garden of Ireland",[3] it is the 17th largest of Ireland's 32 counties by area[4] and the 16th largest by population.[5] It is also the fourth largest of Leinster's 12 counties by size and the fifth largest in terms of population.


Foreign population[edit]

Main immigrant groups, 2016[6]
Nationality Population
 United Kingdom 8,389
 Poland 2,759
 United States 849
 Lithuania 767
 Philippines 644
 Romania 624
 India 498
 Germany 458
 China 362
 Spain 336

Towns and villages[edit]

Biggest settlements by population
Rank Municipal District Settlement population Municipal District population
1. Bray Bray Mun. District 32,600 35,531
2. Greystones Greystones Mun. District 18,140 26,323
3. Arklow Arklow Mun. District 14,353 26,185
4. Wicklow Town Wicklow Mun. District 10,584 28,219
5. Blessington Baltinglass Mun. District 5,520 26,167

Total list of settlements[edit]

Physical geography[edit]


The Wicklow Mountains form the largest continuous upland region in Ireland. The highest mountain in the range, Lugnaquilla, rises to 925 metres (3,035 ft), giving Wicklow the second-highest county peak after Kerry.


The River Liffey, chief river of Dublin, rises in the county and is a major source of water for Greater Dublin. The Liffey's leading tributary, the River Dodder, rises just across the border in southern County Dublin and receives some minor flows from extreme northern Wicklow. The River Dargle runs to the Irish Sea at Bray. The River Avoca forms from the confluence of the Avonmore and Avonbeg at the Meeting of the Waters, before discharging into the Irish Sea at Arklow. The River Aughrim is a tributary of the Avoca. The River Slaney is in the western part of the county, bordering County Carlow. One of the smaller rivers of the county, the River Vartry is important to Dublin's water supply.

Lakes are small but numerous, located mainly in mountain valleys or glacial corries. They include Lough Dan, Lough Tay, Lough Brae, the lakes of Glendalough, and the Poulaphouca reservoir (the largest by volume).

Built environment[edit]

Wicklow is home to several major water supply and hydroelectric facilities. The Turlough Hill pumped-storage scheme, a significant civil engineering project, was carried out in the mountains in the 1960s and 1970s.

Leisure and tourism[edit]

Wicklow, often called "The Garden of Ireland", has been a popular tourist destination for many years, due to its scenery, beaches, walking, hiking and climbing options, and attractions including the ruins of the monastic city of Glendalough, Wicklow Gaol and water-based activities on reservoirs and the coast.

The Wicklow Way is the oldest waymarked long-distance walking trail in Ireland.

The popular annual mass participation bike ride Wicklow 200 has taken place in the county every year since 1982.[13][circular reference]


County Wicklow was the last of the traditional counties of Ireland to be shired in 1606 from land previously part of counties Dublin and Carlow. Established as a distinct county, it was aimed at controlling local groups such as the O'Byrnes. The Military Road, stretching from Rathfarnham to Aghavannagh crosses the mountains, north to south, was built by the British Army to assist them in defeating the rebels still active in the Wicklow Mountains following the failed 1798 rebellion.[14] It provided them with access to an area that had been a hotbed of Irish rebellion for centuries. Several barracks to house the soldiers were built along the route and the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation was built alongside the remains of barracks there. Battalions of the Irish Army use firing ranges in County Wicklow for tactical exercises, especially the largest one in the Glen of Imaal which was previously used by the British Army prior to independence.

The ancient monastery of Glendalough is located in County Wicklow. During the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland, local authorities immediately surrendered without a fight. During the 1798 rebellion, some of the insurgents took refuge in the Wicklow Mountains, resulting in clashes between British troops and the troops commanded by General Joseph Holt (1756–1826) near Aughrim and later at Arklow.

The boundaries of the county were extended in 1957 by the Local Government Act[15] which "detached lands from the County of Dublin and from the jurisdiction and powers of the Council of the County of Dublin" near Bray and added them to the County of Wicklow.

Local government and politics[edit]

The local government authority is Wicklow County Council which returns 32 councillors from five municipal districts (Arklow, Baltinglass, Bray, Greystones, Wicklow). All of the previous Town Councils (Arklow, Bray, Greystones, Wicklow) were abolished under a new Local Government Act at the 2014 Local Elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the entire county is included in the Wicklow constituency along with some eastern parts of County Carlow. The constituency returns five TDs to the Dáil.

Dáil Éireann deputies[edit]

TD Party
John Brady Sinn Féin
Jennifer Whitmore Social Democrats
Simon Harris Fine Gael
Stephen Donnelly Fianna Fáil
Steven Matthews Green Party

County Council councillors[edit]

Political Party Members
Fine Gael 8
Fianna Fáil 7
Sinn Féin 6
Green Party 1
Others 10


Surrounding area west of Bray.

Mermaid, County Wicklow Arts Centre is based in Bray. Mermaid is the county's hub of artistic activity and creation, offering a programme in many art forms: visual arts, theatre productions, opera, dance performances, arthouse cinema, comedy and a music programme.[16] Two of the county's festivals take place in Arklow, the Arklow Music Festival and the Arklow Seabreeze Festival.

The county is a popular film-making location in Ireland. Bray is home to Ardmore Studios, where many of Ireland's best known feature films, including Rawhead Rex John Boorman's Excalibur and Zardoz, Jim Sheridan's Oscar-winning In the Name of the Father, and several Neil Jordan films, have been shot. The BBC series Ballykissangel was also filmed in County Wicklow. Scenes from the movie P.S. I Love You were shot in the Wicklow Mountains National Park while several scenes from other movies, from Barry Lyndon to Haywire, have been filmed in the county.[17]


  • Local newspapers include The Bray People, Wicklow Times and Wicklow People.
  • is a popular news website in the county. See Wicklow News.
  • The local radio station in Wicklow is East Coast FM. In 2010, Radio Nova became the second local radio service to be licensed for North Wicklow. The station broadcasts to Bray, Greystones, Kilmacanogue, Enniskerry and Blessington, in addition to Dublin, North Kildare and South Meath. It broadcasts to North Wicklow on 95.7 from Bray Head and 100.3 FM. Beat 102–103 also broadcasts in parts of South and West Wicklow towns and villages such as Arklow, Tinahely, Shiellagh, Baltinglass, Kiltegan and Carnew where the borders of Wexford and Carlow meet.

Filming locations[edit]

The set for Kattegat for the Vikings TV series, Ashford Studios

Much of the television series Vikings, (Amazon Prime), was filmed at Ashford Studios in the county, particularly scenes that required a green screen for subsequent CGI work. Some on-location filming was done elsewhere in the county. For example, certain scenes for Vikings (season 6) were filmed at and Powerscourt Waterfall and Powerscourt Estate and in Lough Tay. Ashford Studios was also the base for production of this final season.[18][19] The spinoff from the series, Vikings: Valhalla (Netflix), will also be based at the Studios.[20]

From 2016 to 2018, most of Into the Badlands (TV series) was filmed in County Wicklow.[21]   [22]

Another series, Fate: The Winx Saga, announced by Netflix in 2019, was also scheduled to shoot in the county, and would also be based at Ashford Studios.[23]

Places of interest[edit]

See also: List of National Monuments in County Wicklow


County Wicklow is twinned with Würzburg, Germany and Seminole County, Florida, USA.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Geographical loyalty'? Counties, palatinates, boroughs and ridings". 6 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Wicklow". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Index of /". Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ Wright, G. N. (1822). A Guide to the County of Wicklow. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. p. v.
  5. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0-340-89695-7.
  6. ^ "Population Usually Resident and Present in the State 2011 to 2016 by Sex, Aggregate Town or Rural Area, Birthplace, County of Usual Residence and CensusYear – StatBank – data and statistics". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  7. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
  8. ^ "Server Error 404 – CSO – Central Statistics Office". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ "HISTPOP.ORG - Home". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Home". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012.
  11. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  12. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. Volume. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012.
  13. ^ Wicklow 200
  14. ^ See Philip Smith (writer), An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Wicklow. Dublin: Wordwell Press / Government of Ireland, Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, 2004.
  15. ^ (eISB), electronic Irish Statute Book. "electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB)". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  16. ^ "About Us". Mermaid Arts Centre. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Film History". Wicklow Film Office – Wicklow Local Enterprise Office. 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Vikings Season 6 Filming Locations Guide: Where is Vikings filmed?". Atlas of Wonders. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Vikings season 6 location: Where is Vikings filmed? Where is it set?". The Express. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  20. ^ "On-demand giant commissions new version of TV saga made in Ashford Studios". The Irish Times. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Where is into the Badlands filmed?". Atlas of Wonders. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  22. ^ "'Into the Badlands' Confirmed for Shoot in Ireland". IFTN. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Netflix announce Vikings spin-off series which will be filmed in Ashford, Co. Wicklow". Irish Mirror. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Town Twinning". Wicklow County Council. 2017. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°00′N 6°25′W / 53.000°N 6.417°W / 53.000; -6.417