Historic Meath

  • Navan

    Just one hour from Dublin, 10 minutes from Kentstown, Navan is a modern and lively market town offering visitors a wealth of attractions and activities in its hinterland. For evening entertainment, the numerous pubs and good food restaurants offer guests a warm, traditional welcome, ‘ceol agus craic’ to patrons.

    The town boasts several famous off-spring such as Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857) an admiral of the Royal Navy, who formulated the Beaufort Scale of wind force. 007 Agent, James Bond, alas Pierce Brosnan, is perhaps the most famous modern day ‘Navan man’.

  • Hill of Tara

      The Hill of Tara, rising 300 feet offers a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The former ‘Seat of the High Kings of Ireland’ and the prehistoric setting of royal feasts and assemblies is now a National Monument and is open to the public throughout the year.

    On the hill, the ‘Lia Fail’, the inauguration stone for the High Kings traditionally roared when the new King was accepted.
    In the nearby graveyard, St. Adamains’s Cross has a fine example of the Sile na Gig (a pre-Christian fertility symbol) carved in to the cross. In later times the patriot Daniel O’Connell held one of the largest political rally or ‘monster meetings’ at this site, with 1,000,000 people attending.

  • Slane

    Steeped in history of every vintage, the charming village of Slane is centred on a cross roads which is framed by four large Georgian houses. Slane is a veritable melting port of Irish civilisation mixed with rural charm.

    The Hill of Slane and Slane Abbey situated just north of the village offer a superb view of the Boyne Valley as sell as radiating the aura of a sacred place. It was here St. Patrick lit the Paschal Fire of Christianity that according to legend was seen throughout the country.

    It is also the home of Slane Castle, which is open to the public.
    It re-opened for guided tours in 2001 after an extensive restoration programme lasting a decade.

    In its present form, the Castle dates from 1785 and is principally the work of James Gandon, James Wyatt and Francis Johnston. Apart from being one of the most important stately homes in Ireland, the building has been used as a location for a number of well-known movies, and in 1984 for the recording of ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ by U2.

    Located 6 mile east of the village is the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne. The battle was fought in 1690, but still has a lasting impact on Ireland’s people. Over 300 years later the defeat of James II at the hands of William of Orange still raises passions.

  • New Grange

    At Newgrange the Bru na Boinne Visitors Centre is open throughout the year allowing the visitor to explore life in Neolithic Ireland. Although less well know, the passage graves at Knowth and Dowth can rival their most illustrious neighbour.

    Knowth is the largest in the Boyne Valley and dates from circa 3,000 BC. Archaeological excavations have shown the site was used from the Stone Age to the Normal period.

  • Trim

    One of Ireland’s heritage towns, Trim is situated on the River Boyne and is dominated by the medieval Tri Castle, which was built by Hugh de Lacy in 1173. The largest Norman castle in Europe, it is now restored and visitors can access the 75ft square keep and grounds by guided tour. Sections of the epic film ‘Braveheart’ were filmed here.


  • Kells

    Kells or Ceanannas Mor, meaning ‘Great Fort’, was known to be a royal residence before St. Colmcille established a religious settlement in Kells in 550.

    The monks from his community on the Scottish island of Iona fled to kells in 806 in order to escape savage Viking raids and it was here that they completed their illuminated manuscript of the Four Gospels, the Book of Kells. While the original is housed in Trinity College, facsimile copies can be viewed in the Kells Heritage Centre and in the Church of Ireland.

  • The Coast

    Meath has just 7 miles of coastline but in that short stretch between the River Boyne and the River Delvin, visitors are treated to a microcosm of coastal life, both cultural and physical.
    Bettystown is one of the most favoured holiday destinations for Irish people with the large sandy beaches and wide range of accommodation, activities and of course the large sandy beaches on offer.
    The so-called Tara Brooch of 700AD was found at Bettystown in 1850. It is now kept in the Royal Academy Collection of the National Museum, Dublin. The village of Mornington on the Boyne estuary was known as Marinestown in the 13th Century. The Maiden Tower and the Lady's Finger were built as watchtowers and navigational aids during the long war with O'Neill when a Spanish invasion was feared.

Some History of the village of Kentstown

  • Kentstown Catholic Church

    This Church was built in 1841 and £200 was donated by Sir William Somerville. The new chapel was first used on the 10th July 1845. Fr. Thomas Lynch was priest at this time.
    The Church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption by Dr. Cantwell on 19th October 1854.

  • The Lion's Mouth Water fountain

    Erected by Sir William Somerville, Bart 1855. It was built and used for horses taking part in hunts in the locality yet many people believe it was built to discourage worship at the Trinity Well. Trinity Well, called "Tiobar na Trionaide" situated on a steep hill close to Danestown Fort.
    St. Patrick is said to have drank from this well on his way to the Hill of Tara. The well was venerated on November 1st, so this is thought to have been in honour of the Pagan rituals.

  • St. Mary's Protestant Church

    Christopher Plunket founded the Church. Sir James Quayle Somerville Bart (who died in 1797) built the church.
    The Ten Commandments are painted in gold and are sited inside the porch entrance. On the balcony there are statues of the Somerville Family. On a slab is carved a figure of a Knight: an Effigy of Sr. Thomas Tuite. He wears a tight-fitting jupon. A dagger hangs on his right hip. An inscription reads (translated) "Here lies Thomas de Tuite, Knight, once Lord of Kentstown, who died on 2nd June 1363". Inside the entrance gates are two Cedar trees, which were planted on the 6th May 1935 by Lady Athlumney and Miss Somerville to commemorate the 25th Jubilee to King George V. It is a most beautiful church.

  • The Glebe

    Across the road from St. Mary's Church of Ireland is The Glebe, a five bay, two-story house over a basement, with a hipped roof and central chimneystack. This was formally the Rectory. The present owner is the Ambassador Baron Amadeo Gullet, who fought in World War 1. He bought the house in 1965 and has resided there since 90's. There are two beautiful fireplaces by Bossi, which came from the Russell Hotel, now St. Stephen's Green.

  • Somerville Estate

    The Estate extended to 10,213 acres in 1883 and included at one time the village of Athlumney, which is 6 miles away. In the 1950's the Somerville Estate was broken into 6 farms wit fragments to neighbouring farmers.
    The gardener's skills were tested not only by the management of the kitchen garden, much of which was under glass to ensure year round cropping, but also by a system of flower shows and competitions at which he could measure his abilities against those of his peers on other estates. Figs and vines grew on the arched wall between the Rose Garden and the main garden. Gardening in the 2nd half of the 19th century was a skilled profession.

  • The Clock Tower

    The River Nanny runs along the southern boundary in an East-West direction and is spans by Flemingstown Bridge on an abandoned section of the old Slane Road. The West Avenue was once lined with ornamental Chestnut Trees, sadly now decayed, and the estate contains two giant Redwood Trees. Sr. William Somerville erected the arched entrance known as the Ivy Lodge, in 1837.

  • Somerville House

    Somerville's motto: "Crains Dieu Tant Owe Tu Viverasi - Be Afraid of God so that you might live". Sir James Somerville built this Georgian mansion. The mansions design is attributed to the famous Irish architect, Morrison. It now belongs to Mr. Joe McGrath, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who retired in 1997. This is a listed house by the Government and is open to the public by appointment only.

  • Somerville Lodge

    Somerville Lodge is also known as the Gate Lodge. It was built around the same time at Somerville House. It had 3 rooms. A sitting room, small kitchen and small bathroom. Sir William Somerville built it in 1750 and it housed many of the staff that the Somerville Family employed during Aristocracy rule.


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