Irish Counties - Wicklow
County Wicklow (Contae Cill Mhantáin in Irish) is a county on the east coast of Ireland, immediately south of County Dublin.
Local history contends that the town of Wicklow was founded by the Vikings. The name "Wicklow" comes from "Vikinglow", meaning "meadow of the Vikings". However, given the town's natural harbour and rich agricultural surrounds, it is not surprising that the area was an established settlement prior to the 9th century.
The original name of Cill Mhantáin is Gaelic in origin and has an interesting history of its own. St. Patrick is said to have attempted to land on Travelahawk beach, to the south of the harbour. Hostile locals attacked the landing party causing one of the Saint's party to lose his front teeth. Manntach (toothless one), as he became known was undeterred and returned to the town, eventually founding a church. Hence "Cill Mhantáin', meaning "Church of the toothless one".
It is interesting to note that the English language "Wicklow" placename bears no relation to the original Irish of "Cill Mhantáin". This is most likely due to the Normans who came to dominate the area and preferred the non Gaelic placename. The Norman influence can still be seen today in some of the town's place names.
Writers associated with Co. Wicklow include:
- Childers, Erskine
- McCaffrey, Anne
- Synge, John Millington poet and dramatist
- Warner, Alan
Towns and Villages:
Arklow, Bray, Glendalough, Greystones