17km West of Navan on the N51 stands the medieval town of Athboy with some of the original wall still intact.The tower of the Protestant parish church is a remnant standing on part of the site of the 14th century Carmelite friary. At the church door is a 15th century tomb with effigies of an armoured knight and his wife; the panels also include a Resurrection. Behind the church are the remains of the town walls.
Overlooking the town of Athboy is the Hill of Ward, an Iron Age fort where the great Celtic Feast of Samhain or Halloween (1st November) took place. The festival heralded the beginning of Winter. Although the annals record the feast was held as late as 1168 (when the last Gaelic High-King of Ireland, Rory O’Connor, presided), it was in pagan times that the celebrations were at their wildest with the druids offering sacrifices and burning victims on Samhain Eve. To this day the feast of Halloween (Oiche Shamhna) is celebrated all over Ireland on the night of 31st October, with the younger generations initiating the old Celtic customs. As from Tara and the other Celtic hill-forts, the view from atop the hill is spectacular.
Accommodation in Athboy
Clonleason Gate Lodge