Wicklow Heritage Week Roundup

With National Heritage Week just around the corner we take a look at events happening around county Wicklow. Heritage Week has become one of the largest cultural celebrations in Ireland. The majority of events are organised by volunteers and enthusiasts and the vast majority are family friendly and FREE of charge. By attending a Heritage Week event in Wicklow you are supporting your local community and your local heritage.  With talks, tours, open days, crafts, music, art,  exhibitions  and  excursions there is so much to enjoy. 

 Our Wicklow Heritage Week Roundup 

 *Remember that there are always some last minute additions and changes of venues so take a look online here for the most up to date information.


 Kick off Heritage Week with an action packed Open Day at Glendalough. In the field next to the Monastery visitors can discover the results from the latest community excavation. Kids can try out archaeology in the ever popular ‘Big Dig’ while the woodland heritage of the valley and its influence on settlement and mining will be explored in displays, demonstrations and via hourly walks hosted by Wicklow Mountains National Park staff. Throughout the week activities continue with daily tours of the excavations hosted by UCD.  There is a  ‘Nature & St. Kevin’ guided walk  from the Upper Lake on Sunday , the Discovery Programme will be based in St. Kevins Church (Kevins Kitchen) on Monday demonstrating the latest digital recording technology used in modern archaeological research; a Birds of the Avonmore River Talk on Tuesday and a Butterfly Watch at the Miners Village on Thursday afternoon. Past times in the Glendalough Valley can be explored in maps and photos on display in the Brockagh Centre throughout the week.


The village of Dunlavin is a hive of Heritage Week activity. The Pastimes of music and storytelling feature large on the village’s busy programme of over 12 events!  Enjoy Traditional Irish music for toddlers under the spreading Oak tree and an open mic session in An Lár where all are invited to share a tune or poem. Partnering with the local GAA, kids are invited to perfect hurling skills, enjoy games and goodies while all are invited to view a most amazing exhibition featuring every All Ireland hurling Programme from 1971. Whether you want to build an insect hotel, attend a Bee Keeping workshop, view the ancient craft of weaving, explore nature in the hedges, draw the courthouse or solve the clues on the family selfie scavenger hunt, there is something for everyone in Dunlavin.  


What makes Baltinglass Ireland’s Hillfort Capital? Find out at a talk in the Courthouse by Alan Hawkes, archaeologist on Thursday, hear about recent excavations and see the beautiful display on local sites. Keeping with the archaeology theme kids are invited to try their hand at excavating in a simulated ‘Big Dig’ on Saturday.  A trip down memory lane is promised on a walking tour of the town on Tuesday evening, visiting local landmarks and discussing past times.

 Stratford on Slaney

 This small town with a big industrial heritage hosts a  textile tour, exploring the cotton mills and textile heritage of this purpose built industrial town.


Head to the magnificant Russborough House to tour the 18th century  Walled Garden with the RHSI team, or take a guided walk of the historic demesne parklands.  


The Ceiliruadh Celtic Miscellany  takes place in the historic St. Kevins Church of Ireland in Hollywood. This  acoustic candle-lit concert with Maca and Ger Fitzgerald (bean an sean- nos) is a very special and enormously popular event. Free but booking recommended. Visit Hollywood community Centre on Tuesday for the inaugural SUAS (sustainable upland argi scheme) open day. Hear through a series of short talks and a site visit about how the scheme aims to protect the nature and landscape of the Wicklow uplands through sensitive farming systems.


Bray Past and Present is explored in a walking tour of the town , visiting local buildings and uncovering stories of past residents. At Ballywaltrim Library there will be a talk on events in Bray this week 75 years ago, while at Eglington Road library , this week 100 years ago in 1919 will be explored. Focussing on the Earl of Meath and the influence of the Brabazon family, there will be a special event in Killruddery house with genealogist and lecturer Sean J Murphy (free but book your place in advance). For something totally different head to Bray head for a spot of land based Whale watching with IWDG, you never know what you might see!


Arklow Maritime Museum is a treasure trove of shipbuilders’ models, half models, plans and a unique collection of eight paintings of Arklow sailing ships, open for visits daily throughout Heritage Week. Other events include; a bus trip to Ballymurrin Quaker House on Monday; visits to Abercorn Masonic Hall  and an evening in Arklow Library with the author Charles Egan on Tuesday ; and a remembrance service for Arklow fishermen in the Methodist church on Wednesday. 


Forged in the past Blacksmith demonstration and venison tasting at the Courthouse Art Centre



St. Crispin’s Cell, Rathdown is the hub for a special event to launch Heritage Week in Greystones, featuring music, games and kids art along with a talk on local archaeology and a fascinating display of artefacts discovered in this ancient site over the decades. Greystones library is the venue for the Our Wicklow Women exhibition , highlighting many stories of local interest, while there will be a talk on Thursday tracing the development and history of the RHA in Ireland.  


All are invited to an open day at Darraghville Georgian House and Gardens, once the home of the Holy Faith order and now the Luisne Centre. Pop up cafe on the day. 


Meet at the community centre on Sunday 25th   to visit a nearby  19th century farmyard, complete with vintage and modern machinery and learn about past farming practices in the locality. 


The historic  Carnegie library will host an pop- up display of local life and past times, much of the material sourced from local contributors, while on Friday St. Mary’s Church is celebrating its 160th birthday and inviting to to a special guided tour. 


The old burial ground in the village centre is a reservoir of local history and heritage with exquisitely inscribed headstones , an early Christian cross and remnants of a church. Nearby, a treat is in store for kids and families and all those who believe in the magical kingdom with a new Fairy Trail to explore on Priory lane along with games and activities. There will be an autism friendly event on Friday and a launch on Saturday. 


Visit the beautiful Nuns Cross Church on one of two open days and discover the many persons, art and stories associated with this building. At Mount Usher Gardens visitors will be offered a special guided tour with their paid admission to the Robinsonian style gardens on Thursday, while on Tuesday evening  the East Wicklow Rivers Trust host a nocturnal bat walk, meeting in the courtyard. 


The community centre is the meeting point for a five mile guided walk to Lady’s Well (Carrick Mountain), hear about local traditions and enjoy some music and poetry along the way. 

Wicklow Town

Imagine life as a lighthouse keeper in a self-guided tour of Irish landmark Trust’s restored lighthouse at Wicklow Head. Keeping near the coast enjoy the spectacular scenery, history and nature on the Wicklow cliff walk or try land based Whale watching at the Black Castle with IWDG. The must-see Wicklow’s Historic Gaol is offering discounted entry on Monday and Tuesday afternoons while at county buildings you can view an exhibition to celebrate 120 years of local democracy in Ireland.








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