Avondale House & Forest Park



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It was here in 1846 that one of the greatest political leaders of modern Irish history, Charles Stewart Parnell, was born. Parnell spent much of his time at Avondale until his death in October 1891. The house is set in a magnificent forest park with miles of forest trails, plus a children's play area, deer pen, orienteering courses and picnic areas. The house is open to visit and retains many original features. Audio visual presentation.

Avondale House & Forest Park
RATHDRUM, Co Wicklow
Phone : 0404 46111


  • Parking onsite
  • Cafe
  • Ground floor in house & one forest trail accessible
  • Facilities: Special car park, ramp to cafe
Opening Times
  • Open all year
  • Opening Times: Open Mar-Oct. Please see website for dates & times

About The area

Discover County Wicklow

The combination of a well-preserved monastic settlement with a beautiful lake and mountain setting makes Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains one of eastern Ireland’s premier attractions. 

The reclusive St Kevin first established a monastic presence in this glacial valley in AD 570. The remote location was ideal for his hermitic tendencies, but he emphasised them still further by spending time in a cave, accessible only by boat, on the cliffs above the Upper Lough. St Kevin came from one of Leinster’s ruling families and was abbot here until his death in AD 618. He encouraged Glendalough’s reputation for learning and its fame spread across Europe. 

This was a place of pilgrimage too; seven trips here were equivalent to one trip to Rome even as late as 1862. Though it survived numerous raids, the settlement began to decline in importance with the wave of French monastic foundations that followed the Anglo-Norman occupation of Ireland. But there were still monks in residence here when the monastery was dissolved in the 16th century. St Kevin’s feast day (3 June) continued to draw visitors to Glendalough into the 19th century, by which time the monks had acquired a rather bawdy reputation.

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