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Blessington - Wicklow - Main St

Vintage photo

Blessington was originally called Munfine and in the Medieval period was part of the lordship of Threecastles. In 1667 the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Michael Boyle, bought the lordship of Threecastles, previously the property of the Cheevers for £1,000. Boyle received a Royal Charter to establish the town of Blessington, in the townland of Munfine, as a borough. Construction of Blessington House was begun in 1673 and afterwards St. Mary’s Church in Blessington, which was completed in 1683.

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Photo Details

  • County: Wicklow
  • Town: Blessington
  • Scene: Main St
  • Date:1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper, larger sizes also available
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Blessington below

Blessington

Blessington (Irish: Baile Coimin) is a town in County Wicklow, Ireland. Located on the N81 which connects Dublin to Tullow.

History

Blessington was originally called Munfine and in the Medieval period was part of the lordship of Threecastles. In 1667 the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Michael Boyle, bought the lordship of Threecastles, previously the property of the Cheevers for £1,000. Boyle received a Royal Charter to establish the town of Blessington, in the townland of Munfine, as a borough. Construction of Blessington House was begun in 1673 and afterwards St. Mary’s Church in Blessington, which was completed in 1683. On Boyle's death in 1702 his son Morough, Baron Boyle and Viscount Blessington, inherited the Blessington estate. Morough’s son, Charles, died in 1732 without an heir and the estate was inherited by his sister Anne, then her son William Stewart, Viscount Mountjoy and Baron Stewart. Stewart died in 1769 without an heir and the estate passed to Charles Dunbar, a great grandson of Morough Boyle, who also died heirless in 1778, when the estate passed to Wills Hill of Hillsborough, County Down, a great great grandson of Michael Boyle and the first Marquess of Downshire. The Hills held the estate until 1908.

Russborough is 5km (3 mi) south of Blessington.

Transport

In 1888 a tram service commenced from central Dublin to Blessington via Tallaght. This service ended in the mid 1950's and was replaced with a conventional bus service, which still acts as the only public transport in the area to the city centre. Bus Éireann, the national bus company also provides a minor service, as Blessington is upon the N81.

Pollaphuca Reservoir

Also known locally as the Blessington Lake, the reservoir was created when the waterfall at Poulaphouca on River Liffey (which flows from the Wicklow Mountains to Dublin City) was dammed by the ESB for a hydroelectric plant which is still in use today. The resulting lakes extend over approximately 5,000 acres (20 km²).

In addition to electricity the lakes also provide water for the locality and Dublin City as well as provide a leisure resource. There is now a lakeside luxury hotel complex in the Blessington area, with its own helipad, and lakeside facilities which has helped to develop tourism in the area. The lake is also extensively used by boatmen, fishermen and is a training location for the Irish Air Corps HQ divisions from Baldonnel, 15km (9mi) north of Blessington).

Recent Developments

Since 2000, Blessington's population has increased substantially. Housing estates are being constructed on the western side of the town, off the R410which is the road to Naas. Due to the expanding pressures of Dublin, house prices in Blessington have soared in recent years, and it is now one of the most expensive outer suburban commuting areas to live in the Leinster region. It is estimated that the population will at least double between 2007 and 2012.