The town of Oldcastle was the 18th century creation of the Naper family, who received parts of the Plunkett estate following the cromwellian wars. Due in part to the continuation of a Gaelic way of life, the area, suffered badly during the Great Famine (1845-‘9) in comparison with richer, more arable and more progressive areas in the southern part of Co. Meath. The poorest inhabitants were obliterated by starvation and emigration. Nonetheless, land patterns still visible today reveal a strong attachment to pastoral farming of ‘Gaelic Culture’.
Learn more about the architectural heritage of Oldcastle
A new leaflet promoting the visitor attractions of Loughcrew, Oldcastle and surrounding area was launched in Oldcastle recently. Noel French, chairperson of Boyne Valley Tourism performed the official launch and praised the local group for their initiative in working together to produce such a fine brochure. He thanked all the members of the group who had submitted material for the leaflet and Fechin Heery for co-ordinating the production of the leaflet. Noel French thanked Cllr. Johnny Guirk for his interest in the project and for securing funding from Meath County Council for the printing of the map and guide. Councillor Johnny Guirk said tourism in Oldcastle and Loughcrew had a massive potential and he wished the group well.
The brochure is centred on Oldcastle and Loughcrew but there are various sections outlining attractions in the Oldcastle area but also within a short distance. “You can be at ancient megalithic tombs, historic monasteries, a church of martyred saint, the highest point in Meath, the largest lake in Cavan, a World War I trench replica or surrounded by nature in a wild beech forest in a short drive” said Fechin Heery.
The centrepiece for the Ancient Ireland section is of course the “Mountain of the Witch” which is what the local people call Loughcrew. With Cairns that are over 5,000 years old, a visit here will show you why it is the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Tara, Tlachtga and Tara also feature in this section. Kells, the Seven Wonders of Fore and St. Oliver Plunkett’s church at Loughcrew feature in the Sacred Ireland section. Other sections include:
Big Houses & Hard Times, Castle & Conquests and Wars, Rebellions & Modern Times.