County Wicklow (Contae Chill Mhantáin) is a county on the east coast of Ireland, immediately south of Dublin. The county is bordered by the Irish Sea and the counties of Carlow, Kildare, Wexford, as well as two parts of what was County Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County and South Dublin County. Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland because of its scenery.
The population of the county at the 2006 census was 126,194. The county seat is Wicklow (pop. 10,070), although the largest urban centre is Bray (pop. 31,901), on the northern border and effectively a Dublin suburb. Other main towns include Greystones (pop. 14,569), and Arklow (pop. 11,749). All of these towns are situated on the east coast.
County Wicklow is sometimes known as 'the last county' as it was the last of the original counties to be established, in 1606 from land previously part of County Dublin and County Carlow (which then ran to the sea and included Arklow). Establishment as a distinct county was aimed at controlling local groups such as the O'Byrnes.
The Military Road, stretching from Rathfarnham to Aghavannagh crosses the mountains, north to south, was built by the British army to assist them in crushing rebels still active in the Wicklow Mountains following the failed 1798 rebellion. It provided them with access to an area that had been a hotbed of Irish rebellion for centuries. Several barracks to house the soldiers were built along the route and the Glencree Reconciliation Centre was built alongside the remains of barracks there. Battalions of the Irish Army use firing ranges in County Wicklow for tactical exercises, especially the largest one in the Glen of Imaal which was previously used by the British Army prior to independence.
Bray Jazz Festival, the county's premier arts festival event, takes place on the May Bank Holiday weekend each year.
Wicklow is also home to a number of notable figures in literature, film, and music.
|North: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin Counties|
|West: Kildare and Carlow Counties||County Wicklow||East: Irish Sea|
|South: County Wexford|
The October 1, 2007 Opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, County Wicklow, Will Add Luster to Ireland's Reputation as "the Land of 1000 Welcomes"
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