Top-5 sights to see in Ireland’s Ancient East
Ireland’s Ancient East is a remarkable part of the country—the world even, with architectural heritage including looming castles, Stone Age monuments, burial sites, and religious ruins. I spent a week road tripping around the region and here are my top-5 favorite sights to see when in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Bru na Boinne in Ireland’s Ancient East
A short walk from the visitors center, across the Boyne River, leads to this amazing UNESCO site, which is one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes dating from the Neolithic period, some six thousand years ago. Bru na Boinne translates into palace or mansion , and is a massive mound tome surrounded with smaller mounds and other archeological artifacts. Visitors are allowed to take a short tour inside the largest mound, but there’s not much to see. The most striking views come from climbing on top of the primary tomb. Or, simply walking the hallowed grounds is a thrill that will send you back in time.
Carlingford is where Ireland’s Ancient East begins
The coastal community of Carlingford is located between Belfast and Dublin, where the Ancient East begins to the north. The area is rich in historical heritage with many medieval buildings. There’s a charming village to peruse and if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just spot a leprechaun.
Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower
Throughout Ireland you’ll find historic graveyards, but the ruins of Monasterboice are quite special. This early Christian settlement dates back to the 9th Century and is located just north of Drogheda. Visitors will discover an old graveyard, two churches, and a sundial, but Monasterboice is most famous for its spectacular high crosses and its magnificent round tower, which stands about 115 feet. The Monasterboice round tower was used as a watchtower and refuge for monks and valuables during times of Viking attacks. In 1097, the interior is thought to have caught fire, an incident that destroyed many valuable manuscripts; the tower is currently closed to the public, but you can still take in its grandeur.
The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is a group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone. This is one of Ireland’s most spectacular and most visited archaeological sites, which rises from a grassy plain bristling with ancient fortifications. The Rock of Cashel is a mysterious and mystic place that once played an important role in Irish medieval history. Strolling the grounds and within the walls makes the past come alive with a vivid imagination.
In the 12th Century, during Medieval times, the Trim Castle stood like an imposing stone sentinel. After years of decay, the castle fell into ruin and was closed for many decades. After some extensive renovation, the Trim Castle opened to visitors in the year 2000. Trim is one of those amazing places that movies are made of, as a matter of fact, the makers of Braveheart picked Trim Castle as one of their filming locations.
Well, that’s my top-5 sights to see in Ireland’s Ancient East. I’d like to thank Allianz Travel Insurance for sponsoring the video in this article. If you have any questions or suggestions on visiting any places in Ireland’s Ancient East, please leave a comment below.