Wicklow Mountains  (Sléibhte Chill Mhantáin)

Wicklow Mountains



Location: Co Carlow, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford Map

Area: 3000 km2 (1158 mi2)

Official site


Mining in Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains or Sléibhte Chill Mhantáin cover 3000 km2 (1158 mi2) in the Counties of Wicklow, Dublin, Carlow, Wexford. It is the largest continuous upland area in Ireland inhabited since Neolithic times. Highest peak of Wicklow Mountain is Lugnaquilla at 925 meters (3,035 feet). Wicklow Mountains is part of the important metalliferous belt if Ireland with mining dating back to 3000 BC then people first settled the region. Remains of human activity are spread around the region of Wicklow Mountains. One of the most important mining sites are in Avoca and Glendalough.


The Wicklow Mountains mainly consist of granite and slate that were folded during the Caledonian mountain formation phase. The mountains, which are rounded by glacial glaciers, are covered over a large area by peat bogs.
Under these conditions, a diverse flora has developed. In the valleys and lower slopes, this mainly consists of royal fern, gorse, and heather, grasses such. B. sedges and wild blueberries. In particular, the heather herbs contribute during the flowering time in the summer to a typical for the Wicklow Mountains picture in which they cover the whole mountain slopes violet.
Forests are more of an exception in the Wicklow Mountains, as they were cut down early by humans. The widespread deforestation of the forests was also the reason for the widespread spread of the moors. In the present time, however, is increasingly being reforested arealwide. However, these are no longer the original oak and birch forests, but fast-growing spruce species whose wood can be used within a few years for the wood industry. In some places, however, a reforestation in the sense of a restoration of the original deciduous forests takes place for some years, such. B. in the northern slopes of the Derrybawn Mountains above the Lower Lakes of Glendalough.

The Wicklow Mountains, like all Irish mountains, are not particularly high. The highest mountain is the Lugnaquilla (Log na Coille) at 925 m, followed by Mullaghcleevaun (Mullach Cliabháin) at 849 m and Tonelagee (Tóin le Gaoith) at 817 m.

Other mountains (according to altitude):
Corrigasleggaun (Carraig na Sliogán) 794 m
Slievemaan (Sliabh Meáin) 759 m
Camenabologue (Céim na mBulóg) 758 m
Kippure (Cipiúr) 757 m
Conavalla (Ceann an Bhealaigh) 734 m
Djouce (Dioghais) 725 m
Seefingan (Suí Fionnagáin) 723 m

Due to the moors-dominated landscape, most of the mountains in the Wicklow Mountains have a rounded plateau-like peak. Due to strong soil erosion, these are often covered with partly full-sized soil furrows (so-called peat hags). In particular, by the popular mountain hiking so stronger erosion paths have already emerged, such. B. on the mountain Djouce. Several organizations, most notably the Wicklow Mountains National Park, design frequently used trails (such as parts of the Spink Glendalough) with floorboards (boardwalks) to prevent amplification of human erosion.

Rivers, lakes and use of water
The River Slaney has its source in the southwest of the mountain Lugnaquilla and flows 117 km along the western foothills of the mountains to the south, before it flows at Wexford on the St. George Canal into the Irish Sea. The River Liffey, widely known as a major part of the cityscape of Dublin, has its source east of Kippure and southeast of the Sally Gap (Bearna Bhealach Sailearnáin). Numerous lakes, so-called Loughs, additionally characterize the landscape. Significant are Lough Tay (also called Luggala Lake, Irish Loch Té), Lough Dan (Loch Deán), Lough Bray (Loch Bré), Lough Ouler (Loch Iolar), Lough Nahanagan (Loch na hOnchon) and Upper Lake (At Loch Uachtair) and the Lower Lake (Loch na Piste) in Glendalough.
There are several waterfalls in the Wicklow Mountains. The largest and most famous waterfall is the Powerscourt waterfall (Eas Chúirt at Phaoraigh), at the same time the highest waterfall in Ireland. Another larger waterfall is located in Glenmacnass immediately on the Military Road east of the mountain Scarr (Scor). The Poulanass Waterfall (Poll an Easa) in Glendalough is another well-known waterfall in the Wicklow Mountains.
The Turlough Hill power plant is the only pumped storage power plant project in Ireland. It is located on the top of Turlough Hill (Cnoc an Turlaigh), just off the Old Military Road and just off the Wicklow Gap (Bearna Chill Mhantáin).
In Roundwood on the eastern foothills of the mountain range is the Vartry Reservoir Lakes, fed by the Vartry River (Abhainn Fheartraí), which represent the drinking water supply for Dublin. On the other side at the western foot is the Blessington Lakes, which also serve as a reservoir for the Dublin drinking water supply.