Kilmessan is an unspoilt rural village steeped in history and folklore. Castles such as the 800 year old Dunsany noted for its beauty and romance and Kileen Castle which will host the prestigous Solheim Cup in 2011.
In the 1900’s there was a train station serving as a livery stop for both Meath and the county of Westmeath. At one end is a gateway making it a turn-point for trains returning to Dublin and at the other end is the old Signal cabin which still remains. Today the restored Station Hotel and Award Winning Signal Restaurant stands in its place.
The Dublin and Meath railway was incorporated in 1858, to construct a line from Dublin to Athboy and Navan. The original intention of the promoters had been to effect a junction with the Great Southern & Western Railway near Lucan but this idea was abandoned owing to the opposition of the Midland Great Western Railway, who later leased the Meath line for a sum of £10,000.00.
The Station and Railway were opened in 1862. Travel to Trim or Athboy was done by changing at Kilmessan on the Dublin/Navan train where you boarded a local line.
The Station was burned in 1922 during the civil war and all telegraph poles between Drumree and Kilmessan were cut.
The last passenger train ran in December 1947. The Railway remained open for freight traffic until 1963. Cement and livestock were the main items handled at the station during this time.
In 1948, Kilmessan junction was reduced in status from “Station” to a “Halt”. The 45 foot turntable was dismantled in 1950 along with one or two sidings and the pedestrian crossover bridge. A train used to leave Broadstone, Dublin at 10am on Sunday mornings which carried many anglers, sightseers and shooting enthusiasts to either Navan or Kilmessan. The anglers made their way to the Boyne River where the shooting gentry and their hounds frequented the nearby hunting grounds. The sightseers who usually travelled in large numbers during the summer went to the Hill of Tara which was the ancient capital of Ireland and is still one of the main tourist attractions in Co. Meath.
There are still some remains of the old station at the Station House Hotel: the safe which was made by Milners Safe Company Ltd., London & Liverpool, fireplaces and the platforms, which stand outside the main door of the hotel. The remainder of the turntable lies at the end of the wooded area near the bridge.