Avondale House, Rathdrum was designed in 1777 by the famous English architect James Wyatt, is best known as the home of Charles Stewart Parnell, the great nationalist and advocate of land rights for Irish peasants. It was the original owner of the house, the barrister Samuel Hayes, who planted many of the trees still standing in the 550 acre estate, a great area for Orienteering.
Wicklow Castles and Forts
Details of castles and forts in County Wicklow.
The site comprises remains of 3 small passage-tombs built at different times and partly-overlying each other, plus two single-chambered tombs. In the circular chamber of the latest passage-tomb (III) is a large stone basin decorated with a double-armed cross within a cartouche. Some of the roofstones of its narrow passage survive. There is a beehive-shaped chamber which the excavator considered contemporary with Tomb I (largely overlaid by Tomb II, a central chamber surrounded by 5 side-chambers, whose gallery is overlaid by Tomb III), and a ruined kist which is at least as recent as Tomb III.
The Glendalough Round Tower is probably the finest surviving example in Ireland. Over 40 metres in height and with a circumference of 16 metres, access is through a doorway 3.5 metres above ground. Built for the dual purposes of serving as a watch-tower and place of refuge during the period of the Viking invasions, the tower was restored in 1876. Beyond St. Mary’s Church is the Priest’s House, a 12th Century building in Romanesque style, with an interesting carving of a much earlier date on the lintel of the doorway. Just beyond the Priest's House is a large granite cross (sixth or seventh century) and the "Cathedral", the largest church on the site, with a nave, chancel and sacristy (11th and 12th C), and St Kevin's Church. St Kevin’s Church is commonly known as St Kevin's Kitchen. This is a barrel-vaulted oratory of hard mica schist with a steeply pitched roof and a round tower belfry (12th C). Approx 200m east of the Church of the Rock is a cavity in the cliff which is known as St Kevin's Bed or Hermitage.
Glenart Castle was originally built around 1750 and was formerly the Irish Residence of the Earl of Carysfort. A historic castle estate set amid 63 acres of ground and woodland. Around 2 km from Arklow on the road to Woodenbridge in the picturesque Avoca Valley. Glenart Estate goes back to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland which began in 1169. Between 1177 and 1185 large quantities of land were granted by Prince John acting on behalf of his father King Henry II to Theobald Walter from whom were descended the Butler Family and the Earls of Ormonde. The Butlers held their possession in this area for the next 500 years.
Woodbrook House Bray in Wicklow, first built in the 1770s Woodbrook was substantially reconstructed by the Blacker family after being damaged in the rebellion of 1798.It is a spacious and welcoming large Georgian house in its own parkland under the Blackstairs Mountains. It has an unusually big drawing room and a spectacular spiral “flying” staircase, the only one of its kind in Ireland.