Slane is an estate village with fine Georgian houses in a most pleasant area of the Boyne. It is a very ancient and historic town. This district has for many years contained many large manors and castles: few are still used as dwellings but most of them are in ruins. Francis Ledwidge, the poet whose promising career was tragically ended during the first world war was born here. A museum in Ledwidge's Cottage commemorates the poet.
The north side of the Boyne, beyond, Newgrange is dominated by the majestic Slane Castle. The castle was created in the late 18th century for the Marquis of Conyngham. The castle was badly burned in 1991 and is in the process of restoration.
Above Slane village is the Hill of Slane, where the first Easter fire was lit by St. Patrick in 433 to symbolise the arrival of Christianity. The act was in direct defiance of Laoghaire, the Celtic King of Ireland. The hill was also the site of a monastery and church which was raided in turn by the Vikings, the Normans, and Cromwells troops. Today the church tower gives a panoramic view of the Meath countryside. At the foot of the hill on the village side and old 18th century mill houses a Folk and Transport museum containing many vintage cars and motoring memorabilia.
Getting To and Around Slane
For information on getting to and around Co. Meath, see our Co. Meath Transport Guide.