From the frontier fortress of Castleroche to the tombs of Loughcrew this tour reveals Irelands most mesmerising sites. Before the pharaohs of Egypt built the first pyramid our distant ancestors raised the remarkable tombs of Loughcrew. Perched on a hill with stunning views for miles in all direction the tombs are an incredible feat of engineering. No less impressive is Castleroche a huge frontier fortress built on a rocky spur in Louth. Built by the Normans it defended the frontier against the Gaelic Irish McMahon family. Exploring this reveals stunning medieval architecture.
Duration. Full Day
Price: Varies depending on the size of the group (we can cater for groups for 2 to 52).
Locations include: Monasterboice, Loughcrew tombs & Castleroche.
We depart from Dublin at 10am and head directly North to Monasterboice, home to the largest Celtic High crosses in Ireland (and half a round tower). The settlement itself is over 1000 years old and was disbanded when the larger Mellifont Abbey in Collon, nearby was established.
From Monasterboice, we will head North towards the border to CastleRoche castle. This Norman castle was built by the DeVerdon family in 1236. It’s location perched upon a rocky outcrop gives the castle an ominous presence amongst the rolling landscape of North Louth. Although the castle is almost 800 years old, the defensive nature of the castle is still plain to see from the height of the still intact walls surrounding the keep. From Castleroche, we shall head west across Meath and arrive at Loughcrew Passage Tombs, stopping off for lunch enroute.
The passage tombs here are roughly 5000 years old and located at the top of what is locally known as Sliabh na Cailleach (the Hag’s hill), which is the highest point in County Meath. The center Cairn at Loughcrew aligns up with the sun twice a year on the Equinox. While not as well known as the other passage tombs in Meath due to their location off the beaten track, the collection of 5 tombs here offer a sense of place and solitude that the better well known sites cannot. We will be able to access the center Cairn to take a closer looks at the stone carvings and to appreciate the 5000 year old architecture.