Historical Journey through Blessington

Historical Journey through Blessington

If you’re planning a trip to Tulfarris, chances are you’ll have to pass through the neighbouring town, Blessington, on your way. We recommend our guests explore the beauty and history of Blessington on their visit, learning more about the local area and local legends that give the town its homely and welcoming feel. The location of Blessington on the northern end of Poulaphuca Reservoir means that this historic town is the gateway to the mountains and valleys of west Wicklow, and is the ideal base from which to explore the natural beauty of the area. We welcome thousands of interested local and international visitors every year to enjoy Blessington during their stay in our hotel and golf resort in Wicklow. Explore for yourself by booking our best available rates on our website.

History of Blessington.

Before we had towns and marked boundaries, the Neolithic people, also known as the country’s first farmers, left their mark on this area of Wicklow. There is a passage tomb on Seefin Mountain near the town which was built over 5,000 years ago. Unfortunately, little is known about the homes of the Neolithic people, leading us to believe they were made from degradable materials or have been covered. A hill fort in Glen Ding Wood testifies to early habitation and the area’s strategic importance. The fort was last used by the Vikings in the 11th century but may have been constructed over 2,000 years before their occupation.

The town of Blessington dates back to the Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Michael Boyle. In 1667 he acquired a vast estate of over 17,000 acres and used it to found the new town of Blessington. In 1778 the estate was inherited by Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough, and later the Marquis of Downshire. The family Downshire built many of the finest buildings in the town, most of which survive to this day.

In more recent history the town was well known for the lost village, unearthed in 2018.  An area of high ground was flooded intentionally in the 1930s to create a water reservoir and supply for surrounding areas. After it was drained it now appears as an island surrounded by tree stumps and sandy mounds. Old farm machinery and the stone ruins of a homestead can now be seen as water levels have dropped.

Russborough House History

Russborough House is one of the architectural highlights of Blessington and one for your Wicklow bucket list. This Palladian-style mansion was built in 1741 by the first Earl of Milltown. It’s set against tranquil parklands with a magnificent view of the Wicklow mountains. In 1902, in memory of her husband, the dowager Countess widow of Edward Nugent, the 6th Earl of Milltown, donated most of the art, furniture, silver, and other collections established by the 1st Earl, to the National Gallery of Ireland. It is now home to the Sir Alfred Beit collection of paintings, furniture, silverware, and porcelain. The house is open from April to October and by appointment for the rest of the year.

Dublin Blessington Stream Train

Did you know there was once a steam train connecting Dublin to our beautiful town? On Wednesday, August 1, 1888, the Dublin & Blessington Steam Tramway (DBST) opened for business. The first train was the 8:35 a.m. mail train leaving Terenure for Blessington. An extension of the line to Poulaphouca was opened in 1895 and lasted until 1927. Many people were hurt or injured by the train in the early days as it appeared silently and unexpectedly. In Templeogue the bodies of the dead were taken to the local pub the Templeogue Inn which is now known as The Morgue. In 1929, a bus began operating a through service between Blessington and the city centre, eliminating the need for passengers to transfer on the DBST and forcing the line to close due to lack of demand.


There are dozens of other fascinating buildings and places of interest in Blessington. We recommend booking a stay in Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort and discovering them for yourself! Our special offers including Gourmet Getaways and golf breaks are exclusively available when you book your stay on our website. We look forward to hearing about the hidden gems you find on your trip to Blessington.

About Our Author

Read Related Posts

Tulfarris Hotel Entrance Nighttime
Wicklow for all Seasons

Renowned for its natural beauty, Wicklow is a dream in every season. From lush gardens and stunning waterfalls in springtime to heritage sites steeped in

Select Your Dates
Sep 2019
Sep 2019
4 Great Reasons To Book Direct
  • On our official website you'll save a minimum of €10 per night
  • Free cancellation
  • Room upgrade priority
  • No payment needed today