Some 50 km north of Dublin, the Boyne winds through the fertile Boyne Valley on its way to the Irish Sea.
Ever since prehistoric times this area has played an important role in Irish history.
Mesolithic hunter-gatherers probably lived in the area but
unfortunately left few traces except for a flint flake near Drogheda.
That changed when Neolithic farmers entered the scene in 4000 BC and built large Megalithic monuments, like the passage tomb at Newgrange.
Since mythical and ancient times the High Kings of Ireland were crowned and hold court at the Hill of Tara.
According to legend, St Patrick lit the Paschal fire on the sacred Hill of Slane in defiance of the High King Loegaire and somehow got away with it.
Monasterboice started as a 5th century monastery. The present ruins date back to the 10th century. The place is best known for the large Celtic crosses.
Vikings raided the local monasteries and later used the Boyne near Drogheda to base a large fleet.
The Normans invaded in the12th century, founded Drogheda and built a castle at the Hill of Slane.
Irish history was determined in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda.