Aughrim Music and Arts Festival
June 26th - June 28th 2015
The Granite Village in The Garden of Ireland
Known as "The Granite Village", from the locally quarried Wicklow Granite, Aughrim is picturesquely located at the junction of several mountain valleys, where the Ow and Derry rivers meet to form the Aughrim river. The valley of the River Ow boasts magnificent scenery, extending north-west of Aughrim for about 10 miles to the foot of Lugnaquilla Mountain, which is the highest peak in the Wicklow Mountain range. Beautifully situated in County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland, the Gaelic name translates as 'the horse's ridge'. Aughrim has won the Irish Tidy Towns Award for tidiest village in County Wicklow from 1996–2007, and won the Irish Tidy Towns competition in 2007.
Steeped in traditional Irish music, the area also has a rich historical legacy. In 1798 General Joseph Holt of the United Irishmen was engaged in a battle with Hunter Gowen of the Crown forces at Rednagh Bridge on the edge of Aughrim. Billy Byrne of Ballymanus and Michael Dwyer of Glen of Imaal were other figures from the area associated with the 1798 rising. A commemorative memorial was erected in the centre of Aughrim village in 1998 to honour the memory of those involved in the 1798 rebellion.
One of the best remembered local figures was Anne Devlin who was born in Cronebeg (1778-1851). She was a niece of Robert Emmet and helped plan the 1803 rebellion while she was his housekeeper. After the rising she was arrested and tortured but she refused to identify any insurgents and was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol for three years. A marble plaque was erected in her honour and can be seen on the bridge in Aughrim next to the Market Square House.
Aughrim has many buildings of historical interest, many constructed using granite, and these have been included in the Co. Wicklow building survey conducted by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Granite was quarried extensively in the townland of Tinnakilly until 1952. In 1934, a consignment of 450 tonnes of cut granite was exported for the foundations of Liverpool Cathedral.
The village is home to the county grounds of the Wicklow county GAA team. The Angling for All fishing lake provides rainbow and brown trout fishing. Woodenbridge Golf Club is situated nearby and there is a Paul McGinley-designed golf course open locally at Macreddin. Aughrim Rugby is based at the Community & Sports Complex. The Sean Linehan Walk is a nature walk following the meandering flow of the Macreddin River. There are a number of routes to choose from and the longest route is approximately 4 km. The start of the walk is located at the “Old Bridge” at Tinnakilly, just past the local national school on the Rathdrum Road. The walk was created by the national woodland service “Coillte” in 2004 as a recreational amenity for the area.