Louth and Meath and their Monastic Heritage
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For further information on the area contact Dundalk Tourist Office, Dundlk Town, Louth, Republic of Ireland
Monasterboice is where the third tour of great sites begins. Not far away is Mellifont, a sheltered green valley occupied by the foundations of the buildings set up by the first Cistercians to come to Ireland.
Monasterboice is where the third tour of great sites begins. Not far away is Mellifont, a sheltered green valley occupied by the foundations of the buildings set up by the first Cistercians to come to Ireland. Here, as in Baltinglass, new continental styles merged with ancient insular ones. After Mellifont the route enters the valley of the River Boyne, sacred to pagan Ireland and adopted by the Christians when they came. There are ruins of a Franciscan friary on the Hill of Slane – where St. Patrick had defied the might of the old religions. Upstream is Kells, the home of one of the most beautiful Gospel manuscripts ever created by man – it can be seen in Dublin now. There are no fewer than three Celtic crosses on the site and a round tower, to say nothing of one of the oldest of all churches in Ireland. Follow the river down to Trim, with substantial remains of two medieval monasteries and the most splendid castle in the country. And complete the loop by going northwards to Duleek and its Celtic cross which proves beyond any doubt that small is beautiful.