In the 13th century neighbouring Glencree Valley was a deer park and royal forest. The Anglo-Normans hunted the great herds of "native" red deer as well as fallow deer which they introduced from the continent. The first record of fallow deer in Ireland is at Glencree where a dozen were presented to Eustace le Poer. By the mid 1300's the deer park had been abandoned.

The area was still known as Deerpark and in 1860, by which time it was Powerscourt Demesne, it again lived up to its name.The native red deer had disappeared from Wicklow by then, so Viscount Powerscourt introduced red deer from Germany and Britain , along with exotic deer, including eland, wapiti, sambar and Japanese sika.He had "a fancy to try to acclimatise various kinds of deer and other animals", but only the red deer and sika survived.The sika is smaller than the red deer, with a white rump bordered with black stripes.Sika and red deer readily interbreed, so that now there are no pure red deer in Wicklow.

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