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Wicklow Mountains National Park

Historical Events

The National Park was established in 1991 but the story of the people that have inhabited the Wicklow Mountains stretches back over 7,000 years. The first inhabitants were hunter-gatherers who were then followed by the first farmers. Due to frequent political and religious upheavals these communities continued to evolve over the millennia to finally emerge as the society we have today. Here is an overview of the major events in the history of the Wicklow Mountains......


Earliest Inhabitants..» The earliest inhabitants of Wicklow were nomadic hunter-gatherers around 7,000 years ago. They were followed by the first farmers whose large stone burial tombs can still be found.

Routes and Roads..» Many of the roads in the Park follow the same path as ancient trade routes through the passes in the mountains.

Glendalough..» The monastic settlement located here was the centre of Christian religious practice in Co. Wicklow from the 6th until the 13th century.

Normans..» The invasion of Ireland by the Normans and their failure to subdue the inhabitants of the Wicklow Mountains.

Fiach McHugh..»A powerful clan leader who led a revolt in the late 16th century.

County Formation..»County Wicklow, as we know it today, was the last Irish county to be formed.

Restoration..» The dispossessing of the Irish inhabitants following the rebellion was known as the 'Restoration'. This period also saw large scale forest clearance from the mountains, the first true industry in County Wicklow.

Penal Times..»Following the ultimate defeat of the Jacobite forces by William III, Penal Laws were established to eradicate Catholicism in Ireland.

1798..»Political tensions led to a rebellion in 1798 and to the end of self-government in Ireland.

Tourism..» The nineteenth century sees the beginning of this new social phenomenon in the Wicklow Mountains.