Welcome to Blessington, gateway to the valleys and mountains of West Wicklow. Blessington owes its origins to Michael Boyle, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In 1667 he acquired a vast estate of over 17,000 acres and soon after founded the town of Blessington.
The first farmers in Ireland, known as neolithic people (new stone age), left their mark on the area. A passage tomb on Seefin Mountain, near the town, was built over 5,000 years ago. Unfortunately it is not known where these people built their houses.
A hill fort, Rath Turtle Moat, in Glen Ding Wood just west of the town, 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.
In 1778 the estate was inherited by Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough, later the Marquis of Downshire. The Downshires built many of the finest buildings in the town, most of which survive to this day.