Battle of the Boyne Site
The site of the famous Battle of the Boyne, which can be found a few miles west of Drogheda along the river, played host to one of the most significant engagements in Irish history. In the shadow of the magnificent 18th century Oldbridge House, lays the field were King James II of England met King William III on July 1st 1690, and more than 61,000 men clashed in battle.
The Catholic King James and his Jacobite forces of 25,000 men were making their one serious attempt to reclaim the English throne when they were met by the protestant William of Orange and his 36,000 soldiers. As a feint, William sent 10,000 men upstream to lead most of the Jacobites away from the battle, leaving only 6000 to defend Oldbridge against 26,000 Williamites.
King James’ men were eventually routed and fled beyond the River Nanny at Duleek to regroup, leaving behind 1500 dead. Unfortunately for poor James II this would be the end of his attempt to regain the crown, as he would soon retreat to France and spend his days at the court of King Louis XIV. The battle did signal the end of a Catholic monarchy in the British Isles, and confirmed Protestant supremacy in Ireland.
The grounds of the restored Oldbridge House are set on part of the original battlefield and the Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre is situated in the house itself, as is the tearoom and exhibit that includes an audiovisual presentation giving a detailed history of the battle. In the summer months, the grounds erupt with gunfire as live action battle re-enactments take place daily.