Shelton - SheltonLocation of the Millennium Forests
Shelton, named after the nearby abbey at Shelton, is located approximately three kilometres northwest of Arklow town, and was formerly the seat of Lord Viscount Wicklow. Please see directions/map below.
Since the site is part of an old estate it has a number of interesting features including an old walled garden, which must have been magnificent in the past. At the back of Shelton Abbey is a room in which it is said that King James, in his flight from the Battle of the Boyne, hid. It is believed that he had one of his infamous nose-bleeds in the hall, and his blood spattered the door post, which was afterwards cut out and preserved as a relic for many years until a servant unwittingly used it for firewood.
Numerous travellers who toured Ireland in the eighteenth century reveal that the Vale of Arklow was heavily wooded. One such traveller noted that "the extent of the woods induced me to imagine I was in the midst of one of those immense forests seen only on the continent".
Shelton is part of the Wicklow oakwoods, the second largest oak forest in Ireland. Today, broadleaved woodland still dominates the area though there has been much planting of other non-native species, notably beech and conifers. In fact, Shelton was one of the first locations in Ireland where beech was planted during the 17th century. Today, the woodlands consist of mature sessile oak and beech, woodland - underplanted with pine and spruce - with a natural understory of mountain ash, hazel, cherry and holly. Heather, bilberry, woodrush, bluebells and bracken dominate the woodland floor. Numerous animals live in the woodlands including badgers, foxes, shrews and woodmice. Sparrow hawks, jays, treecreepers and woodcock also inhabit the woodlands.
Coillte is restoring Shelton as part of the People's Millennium Forests project and conservation measures includes the planting of native trees such as oak, ash, alder, birch and hazel on a green field site. Fencing of the area will ensure that the planted trees are protected from grazing animals, especially deer and rabbits.
View Shelton in a larger map
Please see refreshed and upgraded signage installed on all the Millennium sites during 2011.
(This new signage was funded by AIB)