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Navan is situated 30 miles northwest of Dublin. A busy market town,
Navan lies where the rivers Blackwater and Boyne meet.
The town grew in importance when in the 12th century, Hugh de Lacy,
Lord of Trim, had walls built around the area where the town is
now situated. It thus became a defensive stronghold of the Pale.
It has since been the center of trade in the area.
3 miles south of the town is Dunmoe Castle which is a 16th century
ruin. The good views of the surrounding countryside are impressive.
Navan was the birth place of Sir Francis Beaufort who in 1805 devised
the internationally accepted scale for wind strength.
Tower houses often provided the nucleus for the unfortified country
seats that began to emerge in Ireland from the seventeenth century.
Many remain occupied to the present day, but Athlumney, on the east
bank of the Boyne, has long been in ruins. It comprises a mid-fifteenth-century
tower house, built by the Dowdall family, which was considerably
enlarged around 1630 by a long, narrow gabled mansion with large
mullioned windows and a fine oriel window. The tower house has four
storeys, with an attic and four projecting corner turrets of different
sizes containing the stair, latrines and small chambers. In the
south wall of the first floor there is a secret mural chamber reached
down narrow stairs from above - created, one assumes, to hide priests,
for the Dowdalls remained strong Catholics.
The mansion was burnt in 1649 as "one of ye families of ye
Maguires was living in it when Oliver Cromwell took Drogheda and
to prevent Oliver from getting any shelter or subsistence there,
set ye stately fabric on fire which consumed all ye curious apartments
which were said to be very rich and costly".
Located less than 1 mile SE of Navan off the Duleek (L5) road.
Key obtainable from the adjacent convent.
Scenic views is a short drive from Athlumney Castle and Navan and
is en route towards Slane and The Battle Of The Boyne site. The
name says it all really, fantastic views looking over the river
Boyne and the surrounding countryside.