Hi Everyone. So the virtual tour makes it’s way over the border this week into County Louth. It may be Ireland’s smallest county but it comes perfectly formed. Here you will find a coastline dotted with sandy beaches, ancient historical sites and the Cooley mountains and peninsula, a landscape steeped in Celtic mythical folklore.
County Louth Highlights
1. Mellifont Abbey
We begin at the the ancient ruins of Mellifont Abbey. It dates back to 1142 and was the first abbey of the Cistercian order to be built in Ireland. The abbey was dissolved under The Reformation and became a private residence in 1539. In 1939 a new monastery was founded on the site and remains in existence to this day.
2. Proleek Dolmen
So now we’re going all the way back to megalithic Ireland. Proleek dolmen is consider one of the finest of it’s kind in the country. It is located in the grounds of Ballymascallon Hotel on the Cooley Penisinsula. The roof stone measures a colossal 3.2m x 3.8m! The same stone is scattered with pebbles of many wish makers. The story goes that if you throw your pebble and it stays on the roof stone, your wish will be granted!
3. Castle Roche
More incredible ruins, this time in the form of Castle Roche some 7 miles outside Dundalk. It dates back to Norman times and was built in 1236. The castle looks like something straight out of a fairytale complete with moat and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The inquisitive cows come for free!
So next up on the County Louth tour is a trip to the ancient Christian settlement at Monasterboice. It dates back to the 5th century and was founded by St. Bute. The round tower and sundial survive as well as the jewel in the crown of this site, Muiredach’s High Cross, considered the finest of its kind in Ireland.
Beaulieu House & Gardens
Our final stop this week is at the stunning Beaulieu House & Gardens in the Boyne Valley in Drogheda. The house was built in the 17th century and the gardens are an absolute joy to behold, featuring one of the earliest walled gardens in Ireland. The perfect place to relax and reflect.
As always, many thanks for your company on the virtual road!
See you next time….
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!