The Leitrim River, Wicklow Town

Leitrim River, Wicklow Town Copyright JP and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Quays, Wicklow circa 1900
Lawrence Collection, National Library, Flickr creative commons

Enquiry to the County Archives 

The County Archives recently received a query about the origins of the naming of the Leitrim river in Wicklow Town.  The enquirer was writing a piece for the Leitrim Guardian magazine entitled “Leitrim in other places” and was interested to know why a section of the river running through Wicklow Town was called the Leitrim.  The gaelic roots of the name Leitrim are liath druim meaning grey ridge and there are several townlands named for hilly places around the country, including the townland of Leitrim in Glen of Imaal.  But “grey ridge” does not seem to apply to the flat section of the river known as the Leitrim in Wicklow? 

Wicklow historian to the rescue

Enlisting the help of Wicklow historian John Finlay is always well advised and he kindly explained the origins which relate to the Leitrim Regiment: “The portion of the Vartry River between the two bridges is referred to as the Leitrim River. The houses facing the river were built in the early/mid 19th century for the officers of the Leitrim Regiment who were stationed here at that time and hence Leitrim Place. Griffith’s Valuations 1842 show a number of the houses complete and some in the process of construction. The houses backed on to Upper Strand Street and the valets of the officers lived in the dwellings facing on to the street.”

More about Wicklow Town

We are currently publishing back issues of the Journal of the Wicklow Historical Society if you would like to delve into the history of the town: Wicklow Historical Society Journals 






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