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Glendalough to Roscrea: Traveling through the Amazing Wicklow Mountains

On day eight we began the trek from Glendalough to Roscrea and then onto Bunratty. Our first stop of the day was just up the road from Riversdale House B&B at the Glendasan Valley Lead Mines ruins.

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Glendasan Valley Lead Mines

In all honesty, for the longest time, I thought the ruins were connected to the Monastic City we saw on the first night in Glendalough. Nope. The mines began in the early 1800s, almost 200 years after the heyday of the Monastic City. In any event, we had fun wandering around the ruins and complex and admiring the heather.

Wicklow heather
Heather in bloom.
Glendasan heather bee
Rocks, heather, and a bee.

Crann Arsa (Ancient Tree)

Just up the road from the mining site is the stump of an ancient Scots Pine. According to the plaque at the site:

This Scots Pine tree lived here over 4,000 years ago, when these [Wicklow] mountains were well wooded. From that time on climate and soil conditions began to deteriorate, becoming unsuitable for tree growth. Human activities (woodland clearance, vegetation burns, etc.) may have contributed to these changes. In wet, cool acidic conditions, the decomposition of dead plant material is incomplete. In time, partly decomposed plant remains accumulate as “peat”. Timber such as this tree is “blanketed” by the peat and often remains little altered. This kind of peatland is called “blanket bog”, since it covers the ground like a blanket.

Glendalough to Roscrea
Me sitting on the Ancient Tree stump and the Ancient Tree stump.

Wicklow Mountains

Glendalough and Glendasan are in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The mountains we did drive through were spectacular and we really should have taken more time here.

After enjoying the scenery and learning new facts, we continued to drive towards Bunratty, stopping in Roscrea.

These sites are definitely worth a stop on your way from Glendalough to Roscrea.

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