Peel back over 5,000 years of European history. Ireland’s Ancient East is a fantastic opportunity to get off the beaten track to experience and discover stone age art, monasteries, castles, fortresses and literature.
From ancient Ireland, to early Christians, the medieval and anglo periods there is something for everyone to enjoy and discover.
10 Quicks Facts from Ireland’s Ancient East
- Newgrange in Co. Meath (pictured) is a UNESCO World Heritage site, this megalithic passage tomb dates to c. 3, 200 BC. It is the oldest known deliberately orientated structure in the world.
- Loughcrew, Co. Meath is possibly the oldest burial mound in the world and tells of Ireland’s neolithic cultures. One legend has it that they were created by a witch flying overhead and dropping pebbles on the landscape.
- ‘The Tain’ (Táin Bó Cúailnge) Co. Louth is the land of the legendary tale from early Irish literature the epic story of Cu Chulainn and Queen Maeve.
- Battle of the Boyne, Co. Meath, was fought in 1690 was the last time the crowned kings of England, Scotland and Ireland faced each other on the battlefield. This was a major decider in European history.
- Trim Castle, Co. Meath is Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman Castle. Malahide Castle and Estate dating from 1185 and Slane Castle dating from 1775 set in the heart of the Boyne Valley.
- The Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, is best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland.
- Monasterboice, Co. Louth was an important centre of religion and learning from the 5th century until Old Mellifront Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland was founded in 1142.
- Fir Bolg King Sláine buried on the Hill of Slane. In Christian history the hill became established as the place where St. Patrick lit the first paschal fire in direct defiance of the pagan kings
- The last Leprechauns of Ireland are said to live below the slate rock in Carlingford, Co. Louth.
- Castletown House, Co. Kildare is set amongst beautiful 18th century parklands and was built in c1722 for the speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Conolly.
- Dublin’s historic Trinity College and an opportunity to see the Book of Kells, Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript dating from the 9th century.
The Boyne Valley – Top 21 History Destinations in the World
BBC History Magazine in association with Lonely Planet published in February 2013 a list of the Top 21 History Destinations in the World and The Boyne Valley was one of them!!!! Other destinations listed include Machu Pichu, Istanbul, Angkor Wat and New Orleans! How great is that!
Discover the Boyne Valley using the app for Android and Apple devices.
Here is The Boyne Valley Driving Route Map with all the main sites shown. To view this as an interactive map please click here.
Private Day Tour
Tour the Boyne Valley, an area rich in heritage and history. Places to visit include Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange & Knowth), Hill of Slane, Hill of Tara, Monasterboice, Old Mellifont Abbey, Bective Abbey, Trim Castle, Loughcrew, Fourknocks, Kells, St Ciarán’s Holy Well and much more.