Ashford is derived from ‘Áth na Fuinseoige’, meaning the ford of the ash tree in Gaelic. Archaeological excavations in the immediate vicinity of Ashford, have unearthed samples from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Medieval periods.
On the Inchanappa Estate, close to the centre of the village, a large quern stone used during the Neolithic period to grind wheat into flour, has been identified. Large Bronze Age ring ditches and evidence of possible cremation activities have been excavated on the flood plains of the River Vartry close to Mount Usher Gardens. Of the same era, a number of ‘Fulactha Fiadh’, which were likely used to cook food, wash clothes and dyeing cloth, have been located on various sites.
Enclosures and ecclesiastical sites including a church, graveyard and font in Inchanappa South, represent settlements from the Early Christian period. A possible Anglo-Norman moated site where pottery pieces have been discovered, lies on the grounds of the Rosannagh Estate to the south of the village.
Much of Ashford’s landscape is dominated by Country Houses and Demesnes constructed by Anglo-Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries, leading to many fine examples of architecture, mature gardens and woodlands. Divided by the River Vartry, the construction of a bridge led to Ashford becoming an important coaching stop and a meeting point for several converging routes.
The area boasts some of County Wicklow’s best-known tourist attractions, with the Devil’s Glen and Mount Usher Gardens proving to still be a popular choice after welcoming generations of visitors.