Oldbridge House, Co. Meath

Wouldn`t this be a grand spot for a parkrun? It`s Oldbridge House, Co Meath, some thirty miles north of Dublin and three miles west of Drogheda town.

But it`s perhaps best known as the site of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

I took a trot around there recently, and afterwards, rambled into the old house and around its gardens.

The Battle of the Boyne was fought between King William and King James. James wanted to reclaim the British throne. A Catholic, his army was largely constituted from Irish Catholics. William was a Protestant and drew his army from Ulster, Scotland, England, Denmark, the Netherlands and France.

And, to add to their enmity, James and William were in-laws, with William having married James`s daughter, Mary.

This was a decisive battle and one which eventually contributed to William`s victory over James.

Fifty years after the battle, the Coddington family built Oldbridge House on the site and developed a market garden on it`s lands early in the 20th century.

Oldbridge House has, in recent times, been taken over and renovated by the Office of Public Works. The ground floor of the house is open to the public and houses an information centre on the Battle of the Boyne.

This extends to the courtyard where there is a display of 17th century weaponry. An excellent DVD on the battle runs in an adjacent outbuilding.

The beauty of this place is that there is something there for everyone.

The history buff will love a trawl through the battlesite and information centre. An architect will admire the Georgian buildings with their modern day additions. While the horticulturally inclined will take time over the octagonal garden and the recent renovations to that.

Meanwhile, children can tear around the gardens or ramble further beyond to the fields surrounding Oldbridge house.

There are trails right around the battlesite which take one to the River Boyne and it`s adjacent canal. Perfect for running, walking and biking.

I`ve even seen a lone horse bearing a rider fully clad out in 17th century military regalia.

Of course, it was probably just a ghost….


9 thoughts on “Oldbridge House, Co. Meath

  1. I love the peach house and those walls behind the pear trees – and is that blue sky? Now, there’s a novelty.
    Is the office of Public Works a charitable organisation similar to our National Trust or English Heritage, maybe? Oldbridge House looks like the kind of property the Trust would take on and look after. Certainly looks like an interesting place.

    • Yes, the OPW here does similar work to your National Trust. In fact, I mean to hop across the pond, or even up North to have a proper look at some of those National Trust treasures. I`ve caught a couple of really good documentaries about the Trust restoring various homes. And, of course, being a Downton Abbey fans makes me lust after these houses even more!

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