Welcome to the Blessington & District Heritage Trail
Dotted throughout the Town and surrounds, you will find several plaques carrying a Digital QR Code Each code will link to that particular site’s dedicated page on our Heritage Trail. Just scan with the camera on your smartphone to find out more about each location. Details on each site below.
Blessington, a pleasant tree-lined estate town, complete with square and built by its landlords, the Boyles and the Hills. Blessington’s founder was Michael Boyle, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who in 1667 acquired an estate of 17,000 acres and was given a charter to establish the town. The estate was inherited in 1778 by Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough, later the first Marquis of Downshire. The new town centre is situated in Boyle’s original demesne and is the first major change to the layout of Blessington in 200 years.
Blessington, situated on the northern end of Poulaphouca reservoir, is the gateway to the mountains and valleys of west Wicklow and the upper reaches of the Liffey, Kings and Slaney rivers. The reservoir, also known as Blessington Lake, was created at the end of the 1930’s as a water supply for Dublin and to generate electricity. It greatly enhances the natural beauty and leisure amenities of the area. Two other natural resources associated with the area, granite quarrying and sand deposits, have long provided material for the construction industry.