Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feeling the Magic at Trim Castle and Relaxing in Drogheda




Our Celtic Day Tour did not end with touring Celtic sites. We also visited one of the places that was on my ultimate to-do list for Ireland: Trim Castle!



You see, a few years ago--ok, more than that--I fell in love with a film called Braveheart. The movie was beautiful all around--message, cinematography and musically. So seeing one of the filming locations was a must! Trim Castle served as York Castle in the movie. Film crews were allowed to build a little onto the castle for scenes. Those elements have been taken down, but you can see that Trim is so beautiful embellishments are unnecessary!

Besides being part of Braveheart, Trim Castle is also the largest Norman castle in all of Ireland. The grounds are truly impressive and it was exhilarating to see such a wonderful example of the castles that many of us on this side of the pond dream about! We had such fun strolling about and ducking into entryways to have a real look at the fortress.


Construction on the castle keep began around 1176 so you can just imagine all of the history that surrounds you was you walk the grounds. The site is fairly peaceful now but you can feel all of the busyness that it has seen.

A guided tour will take you into the keep itself. There are several signs throughout the site to help you navigate, learn the history of Trim and understand fortress construction itself.


Trim does sit on the stunning Boyne River that does figure prominently in Irish history. Near Drogheda, our last stop of the tour, is the site of the Battle of the Boyne which was a battle between the Catholic King James II of England and VII of Scotland and the Protestant King William III of England and II of Scotland. William would be victorious turning the tide in James' effort to regain the throne in England.

Our journey soon took us to Drogheda on the Eastern coast of Ireland near the Irish Sea. In Drogheda, we visited St. Peter's Church constructed in the French Gothic style in 1884. The church is quite a magnificent structure inside and out. The interior is gorgeous and will impress you from the moment you walk in.




Particularly significant are relics within the church. The church houses a shrine to Saint Oliver Plunkett. Saint Oliver Plunkett tried to keep the Catholic Church alive in Ireland during a time when it had been largely disbanded. He was arrested and executed for allegedly plotting a rebellion and was found guilty of treason by promoting the Catholic faith. As part of the church's shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett is the door of Newgate Prison where he was held in London. The church also houses the head of Saint Oliver Plunkett. So, if you have kids with you--you may want to skip by this.


While we in Drogheda, we took some time to amble around the quaint streets and found nice coffee house to stop in for some treats. Esquires Coffee House brewed loose leaf teas, so I was in total heaven! A pleasant town for walking around and stopping for a spot of tea!




What a picture perfect day in Ireland! Plenty of history, picturesque settings and time to rest, too!

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