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Kilcock (from Irish Cill Choca, meaning 'Coca's Church')[2] is a town and townland in the north of County Kildare, Ireland, on the border with County Meath. Its population of 6,093[1] makes it the ninth largest town in Kildare and 76th largest in Ireland. The town is located 35km (22 mi) west of Dublin, and is on the Royal Canal.


Cill Choca
Kilcock geograph-3186148-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Kilcock is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°24′01″N 6°40′05″W / 53.40041°N 6.66807°W / 53.40041; -6.66807Coordinates: 53°24′01″N 6°40′05″W / 53.40041°N 6.66807°W / 53.40041; -6.66807
CountyCounty Kildare
 • Total6,093
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Telephone area code01
Irish Grid ReferenceO003360

Local industries include a large Musgraves distribution centre[3], which supplies SuperValu and Centra stores across much of the country.



Kilcock takes its name from the 6th century Saint Coca who founded a church beside the Rye River, a major tributary of the River Liffey. The saint is traditionally said to have been a sister of St. Kevin of Glendalough; by occupation she was an embroiderer of church vestments, including those for St. Colmcille. A holy well dedicated to Coca, formerly thought to be lost in the back-yards of Kilcock, is believed locally to be in the area behind the Ulster Bank[citation needed], and her feast is remembered on 6 June. However, this commemoration is a modern revival as when the Ordnance Survey of the area was being made in 1837 it was recorded that "there is no old church in ruins in this parish nor is any patron saint or day remembered ... the meaning of the name Cille Choc is not remembered." When the present parish church was dedicated in 1867 it was named for St. Coca, and it had cost £10,000 to build to the design of architect J.J. McCarthy.[4]

In the 8th century there was a battle between rival kings near the church of St. Coca, then in the territory of Carbury and close to the border between Leinster and Meath. There is a gap of several hundred years until the next reference to Kilcock when, in 1303, it belonged to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem at Kilmainham.

In the 17th century, markets and fairs were held regularly in Kilcock. The tolls and duties of Kilcock Fairs were shared between the Wogans of Rathcoffey and the Eustaces of Castlemartin, Kilcullen, county Kildare. Kilcock had 70 acres (28 ha) of common land to which several inhabitants had a common right. There was also a Commons at Courtown (Bawnogue & Duncreevan) and Laragh Commons. [5]

The markets in Kilcock were probably the largest in North Kildare. A measure of oats in those times was referred to as a "Kilcock Measure"[5]


Kilcock is a rare example of a place where a road, a canal, a railway and a river run side-by-side.[citation needed]

The M4 motorway opened in 1994 and bypasses Kilcock to the south of the town. The motorway connects Dublin to the west of the country. There is an NRA plan to create an outer orbital motorway, which would extend 80 km from Naas to Drogheda, via Kilcock.[11]

Bus Éireann has route 115 and 115A (summerhill) running from Dublin to Mullingar passing through Kilcock.

The railway arrived in Kilcock on 28 June 1847, but the station closed on 1 July 1848,[12] as it was sited on a 1 in 100 gradient, which the locomotives of the day found difficult to start off from. This site was slightly east of the current Kilcock station. A replacement station opened in 1850 west of the town, where the old N4 crosses the canal and railway, but closed in 1963. The current Kilcock railway station, under Shaw Bridge, opened in 1998.

As of November 2016 there is construction underway by the county council to pave a pedestrian path along the riverbank giving cyclists and avid walkers a safer route to traverse into surroundings areas such as Maynooth without having to venture onto the main road.


Kilcock at present has three primary schools: Scoil Choca Naofa, St. Joseph's BNS (which since September 2016 recently changed from single sex schools to mixed schools and both schools are linked with each other)[1][2], and Gaelscoil Uí Riada (an all-Irish school). The latter recently was given a brand new location beside the Bánóg on the outskirts of the village.

Kilcock is also home to secondary school Scoil Dara, located on Church Street it accommodates over 900 students from Kilcock and surrounding areas including Donadea, Summerhill, Enfield, Moynalvey and Mulhussey.[3]

Places of interestEdit

The town's library features mementos of the poet Teresa Brayton who was born in Kilbrook. The Old Bog Road, 4.5 km west of the town, was the subject of her most successful verse. It was set to music by Madeline King O'Farrelly and recorded by Eileen Donaghy, Josef Locke, Johnny McEvoy, Hank Locklin, Finbar Furey, Anthony Kearns, Daniel O'Donnell, Finbar Wright and many other artists up to the present day.[13]

There is also the old manor where Lady Catherine McCormack was born in the 1800s.[14]

Also found locally in Calgath, Co Meath is "Bridestream" (an 18th-century house which is the headquarters to a local business), and "Larchill, an 18th-century Ferme Ornée (Ornamental Farm) which is the only surviving complete garden of its type in Europe."[citation needed] Larchill was restored from the mid-1990s, and scenic walks through beech avenues link several classical and gothic follies. There is also a 8-acre (32,000 m2) lake with two island follies, a formal walled garden with shell-lined tower and a model gothic farmyard.

Kilcock Art Gallery was established in 1978 by Breda Smyth and opened by George Campbell, R.H.A..

Kilcock has a greenway cycle/walkway which runs from Maynooth through Kilcock for 38 km towards the Westmeath border which is often considered a "beautiful scenic route".[by whom?]

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club (KCPC) occupies a site in the harbour at Kilcock on the Royal Canal with regular training sessions for boys and girls for canoe polo. This site is the only place in Ireland where there are two international sized pitches available for the sport, The European Canoe Polo Open Championship was held there in 2005 and the Irish Open in 2013


Kilcock Musical & Dramatic SocietyEdit

K.M.D.S is an amateur musical society[15] affiliated to the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS), in existence since 1970.

The society has produced many successful productions, both musical and non-musical over the past 40 years. They include Grease, The King and I, Oliver!, Finian's Rainbow, Godspell, My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha, a multi award-winning Sweeney Todd, The Pirates of Penzance, Carousel, The Witches of Eastwick, Billy, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls and Zorba. They also have recently presented pantomime productions of Treasure Island, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sinbad, Robin Hood, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Plays include Da, Juno and the Paycock, The Memory of Water, The Plough and the Stars, Allo, Allo, Dancing at Lughnasa, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. The Society presented the musical Oklahoma! in April 2012.[16]



Kilcock GAA is situated in Branganstown Kilcock and plays an integral role in the town, boasting a proud tradition. Kilcock GAA have won 5 Senior Championships. Founded in 1887, it was one of the first GAA clubs in Kildare and is highly involved in the promotion of Gaelic culture in the community. It has had many distinguished members such as Larry McCormack, Davy Dalton Jnr. & Snr., and Fred and Paddy Gibbons who have all represented club and county with distinction. The club now boasts some of the finest facilities in the county and caters for over 60 different teams. Football and Hurling are both thriving in Kilcock in recent years and new members, both young and old are always welcome. [4]

Canoeing and canoe poloEdit

Kilcock's proximity to the canal makes it a prominent spot for canoeing. There is also Kilcock Canoe Polo Club, operating for more than 10 years.


Kilcock Tigers Basketball Club is currently situated in Scoil Dara. Underage basketball has thieved in Kilcock for many years with over 100 members currently. Teams start from U11 to U18 boys and girls. Annual summer camps are run for primary school children. Kilcock Tigers is based in the Dublin Leagues and is a member of the Dublin Ladies Basketball Board and the Dublin Men's Basketball Board. [5]


Athletics in Kilcock was established in the 70's and caters for athletes in the North Kildare - Meath west areas. St. Cocas AC have come current high profile athletes, Paul Robinson, Rachael Smyth, Kevin Kelly, Bobby King, Claire Tarplee who are all very competitive on the Irish & International stage. The track in the area called the Bawnogues is a cinder track and is open to the public outside of training times. [6]

Rugby, Hockey and CricketEdit

Close by, North Kildare Rugby Club is found on the Maynooth Rd.


With easy access to the N4, Kilcock is emerging a business hub for north Kildare. The Kilcock Business Association now has in excess of 50 members. The committee works on behalf of the businesses in the area to promote Kilcock as the place to shop locally and encourage people to employ local tradespeople. They also try to promote all businesses that are in the area.

The town also has a Lidl store which opened on 28 February 2013 and a SuperValu Store which opened on 30 June 2016.[7]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Kilcock". Census 2016. CSO. 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ "Musgrave Group". Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Kilcock and Newton Parish Online". Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b Rochfort, James (2012). The Rochforts. Cardinal House, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland: Maynooth University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978 1897922 18 7.
  6. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  7. ^ "Home". Histpop.Org. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  8. ^ NISRA. "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  9. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "Pre-famine". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  10. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. Volume. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.[dead link]
  11. ^ Life saver (12 March 2008). "M50 and outer orbital lands are in demand – Commercial Property, Business". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  12. ^ "Kilcock station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
  13. ^ McDonagh, Michael J; O'Donnell, Daniel (2007), Daniel O'Donnell's Ireland, London: Virgin Books, ISBN 978-1-905264-08-7
  14. ^ "Lyrics – Old Bog Road, The". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Kilcock Musical & Dramatic Society". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Productions to date - Kilcock Musical & Dramatic Society". Retrieved 5 July 2019.

External linksEdit