Blessington, County Wicklow

Wicklow | 0 comments

Historically known as Ballycomeen, which means ‘Coimn’s Townland’, Blessington is a sub urban town in County Wicklow. County Wicklow is in the south of Dublin city centre and is well connected by rail, bus and motorway. The hills and mountains, sandy beaches, rivers and lakes make this county one of the scenic places in Ireland. This earned this county the name of ‘The Garden of Ireland’.
Located on the N81 road, this small town of Blessington connects Dublin to Tullow. This beautiful town was originally known as Munfine and was a part of the Lordship of three castles in the medieval era. In 1667, the Lordship of three castles, a previously owned property of the Cheevers, was taken over by Michael Boyle (the younger), who was the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

Later in the 16th century, the young archbishop, Michael Boyle laid the foundation of the town of Blessington as a borough, which he redeemed through a royal charter. In 1673, the famous Blessington House was walled and in 1683, St. Mary’s Church was erected in the centre of the town. The Blessington estate was acceded by Murrough Boyle, 1st Viscount Blessington and Baron Boyle on the death of Michael Boyle in 1702.

In 1778, after the death of Charles Dunbar, the last heir of the Boyle family and great grandson of Murrough Boyle, the estate was inherited by Wills Hill of Hillsborough, County Down. Moreover, he was the first Marquess of Downshire. Until 1908, Charles Dunbar had the sole authority of the estate, however the house was later taken over by the Leeson family and earls of Milltown. In the later years, it became the home of philanthropist Sir Alfred Beit.

This place is home to several attractions, amongst which the most popular is the Poulaphouca Reservoir, locally known as Blessington Lake. Before being impeded by the ESB for a hydroelectric plant, this lake was made on the waterfall at Poulaphouca on the River Liffey. This river flows from the Wicklow Mountains to Dublin. The lake is a source of water and leisure for the locals dwelling near the county. The place is popular amongst tourists for adventure activities such as boating and fishing. Located 15 km north of Blessington, the Irish Air Corps HQ divisions from Baldonnel and Local Civil Defence Water rescue teams use the lakeside for training purposes.

In the recent years, the town of Blessington has become one of the posh outer suburban commuting areas in the Wicklow County. Well networked, a new inner bypass has been created on the main streets of the town, which aims to ease the traffic on the streets. Recent developments in the town include establishment of a fire station, library, town centre retail development, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu supermarket. Education is an integral part of Blessington town, which is home to numerous primary schools. The Gaelscoil na Lochanna (School of the Lakes), Saint Mary’s National School and Church of Ireland are some of the recognised institutes of learning in the town.

With the establishment of numerous luxury hotels, lakeside facilities and a helipad, located in the outskirts of the town, the destination is much frequented by vacationers

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