Explore the Boyne Valley
This audio guide will lead you around some of Ireland’s most iconic heritage sites. For more information about places to see in the area please visit discoverboynevalley.ie
Brú na Bóinne
The Brú na Bóinne (meaning Palace or Mansion of the Boyne) complex is a truly sacred and monumental landscape, and one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The ruins of the fifteenth century Ardmulchan Church stand on the south side of the River Boyne and overlook one of the most beautiful vistas of the landscape.
The Hill of Tara
With an almost bewildering array of monuments, the Hill of Tara is undoubtedly one of the most iconic archaeological landscapes in Ireland.
Bective Abbey is a superb heritage site located in the valley of the River Boyne. It was founded in 1147 by the King of Meath and given to the Cistercian Order. Bective was a ‘daughter house’ of Mellifont, the first Cistercian foundation in Ireland.
Trim Castle is the largest and undoubtedly one of the most impressive Norman castles in Ireland. It stands at an important crossing point on the River Boyne, which gave the town its name, Áth Truim, or ‘the Ford of the Elder Trees’. Trim Castle was constructed by the powerful Norman lord Hugh de Lacy in the 1170s
Hill of Ward
Just to the east of Athboy, you can find the mysterious site of Tlachtga (known as the Hill of Ward).
The incredible passage-tomb cemetery of Loughcrew is located near the village of Oldcastle in County Meath.
Kells has a treasure trove of superb heritage sites to discover.
Legend has it that a monastery was founded at Donaghmore by St. Patrick who placed it in the care of his disciple St. Cassan. Here you can find one of the best-preserved round towers in Ireland.
Perhaps most famous today for popular rock concerts, Slane Castle was originally the fortress of the Flemings. They were granted the lands in the wake of the Anglo-Norman conquest of Leinster.
Hill of Slane
Like its near neighbour Tara, the Hill of Slane is also steeped in Irish myth, legend and history. According to Irish mythology, this was the burial place of Sláine mac Dela, king of the legendary Fir Bolg. It is from Dumha Sláine, meaning ‘burial mound of Sláine’ that we get the modern name, Slane.
Francis Ledwidge Museum
The museum is housed in the cottage where Francis Ledwidge was born in 1887 near Slane, the eighth of nine children of a poor family. He would become one of the most important Irish poets and left a legacy of poetry that speaks of his deep love of Ireland, Meath and the Boyne Valley.
The entrance to the estate of Townley Hall lies close to a great curve in the River Boyne. A long wooded avenue leads to the handsome Georgian mansion, built in the late eighteenth century and designed by the celebrated Classical architect Francis Johnston.
Mellifont Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in Ireland, known as the ‘Mother House’, a base from which the community expanded, adding more and more institutions known as ‘daughter houses’ across Ireland. The name Mellifont comes from the Latin Fons Mellis, meaning ‘Fount of Honey’.
A monastery was founded here by St Buithe in the sixth century and it is from this early saint that Monasterboice takes its name; Mainistir Bhúithe; meaning Buithe’s Monastery.
The name Drogheda comes from the Irish, Droichead Átha, meaning ‘The bridge of the Ford’. The town was founded in the late twelfth century by the Norman Lord of Meath, Hugh de Lacy. Situated near the mouth of the River Boyne, Drogheda was perfectly placed to become one of Ireland’s most important ports during the medieval period, and the town grew wealthy through trade right across Europe.
Beaulieu House & Gardens
The handsome Beaulieu House dates back to the late seventeenth century. Beaulieu House was turned into the house we see today by the Tichbournes in the mid 17th and early 18th Century and has remained largely unchanged since.
Battle of the Boyne
The Boyne Valley was the setting of some of the key events of the later medieval and post-medieval periods in Irish history, the most famous being the Battle of the Boyne, the story of which is told in the modern Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre at Oldbridge.
Duleek was originally founded by St. Cianan sometime before 489 AD, who is said to have built the first stone church here in Ireland.
We produced this audio guide on behalf Meath Tourism and Meath County Council. We are also grateful for the kind support of Louth County Council and the Office of Public Works.