Free Car Parking At Glendalough
August 1, 2020
A New Career In A New Town
August 10, 2020

As glacial valleys go, hey, it’s got to be one of the most beautiful around here.

Or pretty much anywhere across this green and futile land, given that Glendalough is home to a spectacular early medieval monastic settlement from the 6th century.

Think Happy Pear, only without the handstands, the laughter, the moolah, or the rabid followers.

It was the bould St Kevin who brought religion to the Wicklow beauty spot all those centuries ago, whilst missionaries gave way to mercenaries when a not-so-holy bunch brought in the diggers between 1825 and 1957, creating a galena lead mine situated at the head of the valley.

For most people though, Glendalough is a very grand day out, with breathtaking, back-breaking trails aplenty and grand spots for picnics or daredevil rock-climbing, whilst the Wicklow Mountains National Park gang have a little cottage by the bigger of the two lakes boasting postcards, information and date-saving crappers.

As for all that monastic heritage, here’s the official word…

Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the Monastic City.

The ‘City’ consists of a number of monastic remains, and the most impressive being the Round Tower which stands 30m high. The main group of monastic buildings lies downstream near the Round Tower. The grounds were entered through the Gateway, which has two round headed granite arches.

Beyond St. Mary’s Church is the Priest’s House, a 12th Century building in Romanesque style, with an interesting carving of a much earlier date on the lintel of the doorway. Just beyond the Priest’s House is a large granite cross (sixth or seventh century) and the ‘Cathedral’, the largest church on the site, with a nave, chancel and sacristy (11th and 12th C), and St Kevin’s Church.

St Kevin’s Church is commonly known as St Kevin’s Kitchen. This is a barrel-vaulted oratory of hard mica schist with a steeply pitched roof and a round tower belfry (12th C). Approx 200m east of the Church of the Rock is a cavity in the cliff which is known as St Kevin’s Bed or Hermitage.

At the Glendalough site on the road to Laragh, to the right, stands Trinity Church (11th-12th C). Beyond the river about 1.5km to the east of the Cathedral is St. Saviour’s Priory a church with fine Romanesque carvings on the chancel arch and windows.

With free car parking now added, you can find out more about Glendalough on their official site here, go check out our photo galleries on the place here, and find out what other natural outdoor beauties Wicklow has to offer here.

In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite Glendalough shots, both very old and new – including some of our own – below. Best viewed with a trusty whiskey flask by your side…

Vintage John Hinde Glendalough Postcard

Glendalough Tourists. Vintage Postcard.

Path to St Kevin’s Bed. Vintage Postcard.

Upper Lake, Glendalough. Vintage Postcard.

Eventide At Glendalough. Vintage Postcard

The Seven Churches, Glendalough. Vintage Postcard

Upper Lake, Glendalough. Colortone Postcard

St Kevin’s Bed Postcard

Vintage St Kevin’s Cross Postcard

Richardson’s Lake Hotel, Glendalough

Glendalough Tower Oct 2019. Pablo Photography

The Tower of Power 30OCT15. Pablo Photography

Another Angle. Pic: Unknown

Through The Tall Window 21JULY19. Pablo Photography

Rainbow Nation 30JUN19. Pablo Photography

McDonald’s: The Early Years. Pic: Pablo Photography

Walk This Way 21JULY19. Pablo Photography

A Feck In The Road 30JUNE19. Pablo Photography

Into De Trees 21JULY19. Pablo Photography

Glendalough In The Snow JUN17. Pic: Michael Tallon

The Big Chill 2DEC16. Alan Currie

The Bigger Chill 2DEC16. Alan Currie

Christmas Is Coming. Pic: Unknown

Chill Out 2016. Pic: Unknown

National Park Swim Sept 2017. Pic: Unknown

The Great Divide 2DEC16. Alan Currie

Getting closer… 2DEC16. Alan Currie

Getting wetter 2DEC16. Alan Currie

Reflected Glory 22AUG15. Pic: Peter Gordon

Mirror Man. Pic: Fran Byrne

Getting there… Pic: Harry Acheson

It Takes A Village 21JULY19. Pablo Photography

Get Your Wicklow Sex Dolls Here! Pic: Pablo Photography

Here, My Deer 21JULY19. Pablo Photography

Follow me… 30OCT15. Pic: Pablo Photography

And on and on… 26DEC15. Pablo Photography

There Goes The Sun 2OCT17. Pic: Albert O’Donnell

Upper Lake Shooting Star. Pic: Albert O’Donnell

Nicely done, young Aoife Hester…

You can check out the official Glendalough website here, and go explore our photo gallery archives on de place here