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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Wicklow County > Wicklow Town
Wicklow (Irish: Cill Mhantáin, meaning Church of the Toothless One) is the county seat of County Wicklow in Ireland. Located south of the capital Dublin on the east coast of the island, it has a population of 10,070 according to the 2006 census.

The town lies off the N11 route between Dublin and Wexford. Wicklow is also connected to the rail network with Dublin commuter services now extending to the town. Additional services connect with Arklow, Wexford and Rosslare Europort, a main ferry port. There is also a commercial port, mainly importing timber and textiles.

Local history contends that the town of Wicklow was founded by the Vikings, probably around 870 AD. The name 'Wicklow' comes from Vikinglow, meaning Meadow of the Vikings, or Wykynlo, meaning Viking Loch. However, given the town's natural harbour and rich agricultural surrounds, it is not surprising that the area was an established settlement prior to the 9th century.

The origin of the Irish name Cill Mhantáin has an interesting folklore of its own. Saint Patrick is said to have attempted to land on Travailahawk beach, to the south of the harbour. Hostile locals attacked the landing party causing one of the saint's party to lose his front teeth. Manntach (toothless one), as he became known, was undeterred and returned to the town, eventually founding a church. Hence Cill Mhantáin, meaning Church of the Toothless One, although there is no evidence, material or written, for the existence of such a local holy man.

The English-language 'Wicklow' placename bears no relation to the Irish Cill Mhantáin. The Normans, who came to dominate the area, preferred the non-Gaelic placename. The Norman influence can still be seen today in some of the town's place and family names.

After the Norman invasion, Wicklow was granted to Maurice FitzGerald who set about building the 'Black Castle', a land-facing fortification that lies ruined on the coast immediately south of the harbour.

The surrounding County of Wicklow is rich in bronze age monuments. The oldest surviving settlement in the town is the Franciscan Abbey, located at the west end of Main Street, within the gardens of the local Roman Catholic parish grounds.

Wicklow Town
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Wicklow Town
In: Wicklow
People: 6,930
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Tourist Town
GPS: -6.033, 52.9779