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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Wicklow County > Arklow
Arklow (meaning ‘Great Estuary’) is a historic town located in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the ninth century, Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion. It is now a thriving commuter town with a population of 11,759 at the 2006 census, making it the third largest town in the county.

Arklow is situated at the mouth of the River Avoca, the longest river entirely within County Wicklow. The town is divided by the river, which is crossed by the Nineteen Arches bridge, a stone arch bridge linking the south or main part of the town with the north part, called Ferrybank.

The town of Arklow has expanded rapidly in the last decade. There has been a growth in retail in the town and a new shopping centre, the Bridgewater Centre, opened on 4 October, 2007 on Ferrybank, which contains Dunnes Stores, GCG Cinemas, New Look, TK Maxx, and Next amongst the main tenants. A new roundabout has been constructed at Ferrybank to allow access to Bridgewater, although congestion remains a severe problem in the town as there are just two access points from the N11, and one access point across the River Avoca.

History
The town's English name derives from Arknell's Low (Arknell was a Viking leader; a low was an area of land). Its Irish name means the large estuary. Historically it was a major seafaring town, with both the shipping and fishing industries using the port, with shipbuilding also being a major industry. The town has a long history of industry, in particular the chemical industry.

After the arrival of the Anglo-Normans, their leader Theobald Walter, ancestor of the Earls of Ormonde, was granted the town and castle of Arklow by King Henry II. In 1264 the Dominicans were granted a large tract of land, which is now known as Abbeylands, and they built an abbey, which became known as the Priory of the True Cross or Holy Cross.

Some time after 1416, the Manor of Arklow came into the control of the MacMurrough Kings of Leinster, possibly after the death of the 4th Earl of Ormonde in 1452. In 1525, Muiris Kavanagh (McMurrough, King of Leinster 1522-31) returned the manor and castle of Arklow and its lands to his nephew Piers Butler, the Earl of Ormonde.

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in September 1649, Oliver Cromwell arrived at Arklow on his way to Wexford and took the surrender of the town. In 1714 James, Duke of Ormonde, sold the Manor of Arklow to John Allen of Stillorgan, County Dublin. In 1750 Allen’s eldest granddaughter Elizabeth Allen married John Proby who was raised to the peerage in 1752 as Baron Carysfort of County Wicklow, and came into possession of the Arklow Estate.


 
 
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Arklow
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Arklow
In: Wicklow
People: 11,712
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Tourist Town
GPS: -6.1649, 52.7941