A diverse county
Just to the left of Dublin, County Kildare is one of Ireland’s richer counties. It’s home to 140 racehorse stud farms, and a number of hi-tech industries.
Kildare also has a large number of peat bogs, the largest of which is the Bog of Allen. This amazing area has provided Ireland with peat for centuries, as well as preserving some of the nation’s most interesting and revealing archaeology. The bog holds up to 20 times its own weight in water and, in places, the peat can be 32 feet or more in depth.
For centuries Kildare was a struggling frontier town on the edge of the English Pale (area controlled by England). However, with the development of the Curragh, and the construction of the turnpike road from Dublin to southwest Ireland in the middle of the 17th century, the town’s fortunes revived.
You can see the last vestiges of Kildare Castle behind the Silken Thomas public house. Although a motorway cuts across its heart, the area known as the Curragh, which begins on the eastern edge of town, is still the largest tract of semi-natural grassland in Europe.