County Meath

County Meath is a maritime county in the province of Leinster and in the eastern part of Ireland.

The county, covering an area of 904 square miles, has a population of 135,000 approx.

Bordered on the east by Dublin and the Irish Sea, on the north by Louth, Monaghan, and Cavan, on the west by Westmeath, and on the south by Offaly and Kildare, Meath is known as “the Royal County” because the high kings of Ireland were believed to have been crowned at the Hill of Tara meaning “middle”, the name of the fifth province in early Christian Ireland, which was dominated by the southern branch of the O’Neill family.

This included lands now in counties Meath, Westmeath, Cavan, and Longford. The boundaries of the present-day county were formed in the twelfth century, when King Henry II granted these lands to Hugh de Lacy.

The land is generally flat, apart from the hills of Loughcrew in the west of the county.

The principal rivers in the county are the Boyne and the Blackwater.

The Battle of the the Boyne, one of the turning points in Irish history, was fought at Oldcastle in July 1690. Major archeological attractions include the megalithic passage-graves at Newgrange and Knowth, which are believed to have been built around 3200B.C.

The main towns in the county are Navan, the county capital, Trim, and Kells, which is well known for its association with the celebrated Book of Kells. It is believed that most of the book was written and illustrated in Scotland, probably at the monastic settlement at Iona, before it was brought to Kells for its protection in the ninth century. The manuscript was kept in the monastery until 1541, and since 1661 it has been held by Trinity College, Dublin.

 County Meath is noted for its rich grasslands, ideal for raising cattle.

Worth seeing on any Ireland tours…….