Burial sites, battles…
Just to the northwest of Dublin, Meath is a county rich in ancient burial sites, abbeys and castles, and includes the Hills of Slane and Tara. From Slane, the River Boyne sweeps south then north again, and here, in the Boyne Valley, is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe – the large pre-Christian burial ground with its three great tumuli at Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth. Oldbrige marks the site of the Battle of the Boyne, where in 1690 the Protestant William of Orange defeated the Catholic James II.
…and the Book of Kells
The town of Kells is steeped in antiquity, and was the birthplace of the Book of Kells. In the 9th century, when monks from Iona in Scotland took refuge at the Abbey of Kells to escape Viking raids, they devoted their time to producing this magnificently illuminated (illustrated would be the modern term) work. It is in Latin and is basically the four gospels of the New Testament, but it is the illustrations which make it so important. These days it can be seen at Trinity College, Dublin, but there is still plenty of related interest in the town of Kells, which can be discovered on a heritage trail.