Athy Heritage Town,
situated where the river Barrow joins the Grand Canal, is one of the most ancient of Irish
towns. The name Athy commemorates a famous battle between the Munster men under Ae and
King Lewy in 120 AD in which Ae was killed. The river crossing was then called Ath Ae
(Ford of Ae), later anglicised as Athy. The Earls of Kildare were landlords of the town
for many centuries.