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Pholl an Phúca
Poulaphouca Falls & Bridge.JPG
Pollaphuca bridge
Location County Wicklow
Coordinates 53°8′N 6°31′W / 53.133°N 6.517°W / 53.133; -6.517
Type Reservoir
Primary outflows River Liffey
Basin countries Ireland
Pollaphuca dam

Coordinates: 53°07′01″N 6°35′14″W / 53.11694°N 6.58722°W / 53.11694; -6.58722 Poulaphouca, officially Pollaphuca (Irish: Poll an Phúca, meaning "the Púca's hole"),[1][2] is the name of a waterfall and bridge on the River Liffey between County Wicklow and County Kildare. It is primarily known for its hydroelectric generating station and artificial lake, known as Poulaphouca Reservoir, Poulaphouca Lake, or Blessington Lake. The once famous Poulaphouca Waterfall has little water running over it any longer because of the hydroelectric project.

Poulaphouca Waterfall and Bridge[edit]

A waterfall immediately west of the bridge, renowned as a beauty spot from at least the 18th century, was lost with the construction of the Poulaphouca Reservoir. The waterfall, marked as 'Poolapooka - a remarkable cataract' on Noble & Keenan's map of 1752,[3] is depicted and described in the Post-Chaise Companion of 1786, when Ballymore parish was still within Dublin:

Both Pollaphuca and a second bridge crossing a dry gorge 150m to the southwest, were designed by Alexander Nimmo in Gothic style and built between 1822 and 1827 for a total cost of £4,704. Poulaphouca Bridge replaced Horsepass Bridge to the northeast, now under Poulaphouca Reservoir.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Wright's Guide to the County of Wicklow describes the bridge and waterfall in 1827:


A four and a half mile extension of the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway terminating at Poulaphouca, built by the Blessington and Poulaphouca Steam Tramway, opened on May 1, 1895 and closed in 1932.[13][14] The ticket office survives as a private residence immediately northeast of the bridge on the N81 road.

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