Myths & Legends

Ardee Castle

Located on the east side of Castle Street, this building ranks as the largest fortified town house to survive in Ireland. The mass of its masonry makes it the most noticeable of the remains of the medieval town of Ardee. Dating from the fifteenth century, this structure is known as ‘Ardee Castle’, ‘St Leger’s Castle’ and ‘Pipard’s Castle’.

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Brú na Bóinne, the legends behind the tombs

Brú na Bóinne is one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe drawing thousands of visitors daily. Each of the tombs has their own myths to explore against the beautiful backdrop of the gently meandering River Boyne. You will marvel at the skill of these prehistoric builders The Dinshenchas, from the Book of Leinster (a manuscript from the 12th century) is a very useful source for anyone interested in Irish mythology. This collection of poems tells the origin of place names, events and characters. It recounts the legends behind Brú na Bóinne, the Palace of the Boyne.

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Drogheda; the walled town

Sir Arthur Aston's golden leg: Drogheda was obviously an important defensive location as a bridging point and a port. This is evident in the walled town's history and none more so than when Oliver Cromwell and his forces laid siege to the town in 1649. The unfortunate Sir Arthur Aston had been made Governor of Drogheda a year earlier. It was supposed to be an easier assignment for the career soldier who had served military campaigns in Europe and the English Civil War. He had lost his leg in a riding accident and so he was appointed to Drogheda to ease into retirement.

Hill of Tara

 

The Hill of Tara is the jewel in the crown of the Boyne Valley landscape. A site that has been in use for more than 5000 years as a place of burial and assembly, it grew to fame as the legendary inauguration site of the ancient High Kings of Ireland. From its rolling slopes one can see all the way to the other great sites of the Boyne Valley, including Loughcrew Cairns, the Hill of Slane, Trim Castle and beyond. In later centuries it remained the focus of Gaelic identity and remains to this day the beating heart of Ireland. 

May to September (Hill of Tara Visitor Centre) +353 46 902 5903. Out of Season contact: (Brú na Bóinne) +353 41 988 0300
hilloftara@opw.ie

Hill of Tara,Dunsany Navan Co. Meath C15 P44W

From Navan:

Get on the R147 heading towards Dublin. Continue on this road (through three roundabouts) for about 8Km. Take a right at the sign for the Hill of Tara. Continue up the hill until you reach your destination on the left.

From Trim:

Take the R154 headed towards Dublin/Clonee. After 5km turn left for Kilmessan on L2205. In Kilmessan take a sharp right onto Skein Abbey. Continue to the end of this road and take a left, arriving at the Hill of Tara.

Via M1 Motorway or Drogheda:

Take the M1 (this road is tolled) coming from Belfast. At junction 10, take the N51 exit to Drogheda (North)/Navan/Collon. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto N51 for Slane. In Slane take a left onto the N2 towards Dublin. Take a right onto the R153 for Navan/Kentstown. Take a left for the road towards Trim. Continue on this road until you reach the R147. Take a left onto the R147 and continue through the two roundabouts. Take a right at the sign for the Hill of Tara. Continue up the hill until you reach your destination on the left.

From Dublin:

Take the M3 (this road is tolled) headed for Cavan. At junction 7, take the R147 exit to Skryne/Johnstown. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto R147. Take a right at the sign for the Hill of Tara. Continue up the hill until you reach your destination on the left.

Access to the Hill is free of charge.

Please see social media for 2021 visitor centre opening hours

https://www.facebook.com/hilloftaraOPW/

Guided Tours: Please see social media for 2021 visitor centre opening hours

Admission to visitor centre with guided tour (Please note, no credit card facilities on site):

Adult: €5.00

Senior/Group: €4.00

Child/Student: €3.00

Family: €12.00

Admission to the site: Free of Charge

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Kells; the home of Ireland`s finest treasure

Kells is synonymous with early Christian architecture and it remains one of Ireland`s greatest monastic settlements. Before the arrival of Christianity Ceanannas Mór, the Irish for Kells, meaning “great residence,” was a royal residence much like the famous Hill of Tara. It wasn`t until the 6th century that Kells came to prominence as a monastic settlement. St. Colmcille or Columba was granted Kells by the then High King, Diarmuid MacCarroll, of the Uí Neill. He was the cousin of Colmcille and it is said that the two had many disagreements.

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Kildemock's Jumping Church

Kildemock Church, one of the Boyne Valley`s most puzzling mysteries can be found just outside Ardee in Co. Louth. The picturesque ruins are set against the backdrop of Carlingford and the Mourne Mountains. The history of the church dates back to the 12th century but it wasn`t until 1715 that this sacred place became shrouded in mystery.

Loughcrew Cairns; Hill of the Witch

The grandest concentration of Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland can be found at Loughcrew. Local folklore maintains that the site is the work of the “monster woman” who once ruled the area. Loughcrew`s name in Irish is Sliabh na Callaí meaning “Hill of the Witch” or “Hags Hill.” The name of the ancient hag was Garavogue, known locally as An Cailleach Bhéara. This witch or hag may have had her origins in the Celtic goddess Buí, whom we encounter at Knowth in Brú na Bóinne. She was a Moon Goddess or Earth Mother.

Millmount; the resting place of Ireland`s first great poet Amergin

The Martello tower atop Millmount takes pride of place overlooking Drogheda, one of Ireland's most picturesque medieval towns. Millmount's history dates back much further however. Local folklore says that Amergin, the great poet and son Míl is buried at Millmount. He is said to be the first Milesian to set foot in Ireland, on the banks of the Boyne, upon which he recited his famous poem. Amergin then divided Ireland into two kingdoms for his brother's éremón and Eber, using Millmount to mark the border between north and south.