Hill of Slane

Hill of Slane

St Patrick's defiance of the pagan king

The Hill of Slane rise 158m above the surrounding countryside and can be seen from the Hill of Tara, 16km away.

A ceremonial lighting of a great fire on The Hill of Tara (then the seat of the High King) occurred every spring equinox: it was forbidden to light any other fire until this on was ablaze. In 433AD, in defiance of the pagan High King Laoire at Tara, Saint Patrick lit a Paschal fire on the Hill of Slane to celebrate Easter. The king summoned Patrick and had his druids challenge him to feats of power. Though angry, Laoire was so impressed by Patrick’s power and devotion he allowed him to continue his missionary work.

A well-preserved tower is to be found among the ruins of a Franciscan Monastery, dating from 1512, itself built on site of a monastery founded by St. Erc, a follower of St. Patrick.

The ruins of a college, built to house four priest, four lay brothers and four choristers, also remain. These were built by the Flemings (Barons of Slane from the 11th – 17th Centuries) for Franciscans; the family coat of arms can be seen on the west wall of the college quadrangle. Thirty years after its foundation, the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII, its land and wealth appropriated. In 1631, the Flemings restored the monastery. It became home to Capuchins monks, who in turn, were driven out in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell.

Hill of Slane


Just north of Slane off the N2


All year Admission free

Please note

Please do not leave valuables in your car.