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athgarvan

DROGHEDA

Today I visited the historic walled town of Drogheda which lies about 50k north of Dublin. I really wanted to experience a trip on the comfortable fast Enterprise train from Dublin to Belfast which passes through Drogheda. When there I learned a little of the history of the place.

The River Boyne flows through it and it was chartered as a Norman town since 1194. As part of his conquest of Ireland in 1649 Cromwell took the town and, as he said himself, "their officers were knocked on the head, every tenth man of the soldiers killed, and the rest shipped to Barbados".

The town is well endowed with churches and in 1921 the preserved severed head of St. Oliver Plunkett, who was executed in London in 1681, was put on display and remains in one of them to this day.

In July 1690 we had the famous 'Battle of the Boyne' near the town between two kings, the Catholic Stuart King, James II, and the obscure European Protestant contender, William of Orange, each claiming to be the rightful king of England. The main force of both armies never took part in the fighting and the battle was not decisive in any way. It wasn't even about Ireland. The result? The "Glorious Revolution" was a success and William and Mary were crowned joint sovereigns of England.

Other things and people I learned about: The imposing St. Laurence's Gate, is an almost complete part of the medieval town wall. The Tholsel, the old town hall (1494), is still impressive. The young Arthur Wesley (the 'Iron Duke' of Wellington) was educated at Drogheda Grammar School before going to Eton, and Lord Cornwallis wanted to be made a Freeman of the Borough and was told 'No!'

And did you know Captain Bligh of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame designed the beacons that demark the Boyne's channel!

Wasn't that an informative day for me? And I can recomend the Enterprise!

Comments

Wow, that town has a lot of memorable history!
what a splendid collection of facts!
thank you