Drogheda Museum, Millmount:
Standing watchfully over the south bank of the River Boyne is Millmount Fort, occupying the high ground in the heart of Drogheda, as it has done now for nearly 850 years.
Originally a motte and bailey castle, said to have been constructed on a passage tomb like the ones at Newgrange. It was built by Hugh de Lacy after he was granted the Kingdom of Meath in 1172 by the Anglo-Norman King Henry II. The castle was soon replaced with a stronger fortification that went on to garrison the town’s troops for hundreds of years.
During Oliver Cromwell’s siege of Drogheda in 1649, Millmount Fort held against the invading armies until the defenders were forced to surrender. As they gave up and left the fort, the besieged soldiers were massacred.
Over the next two hundred years more barracks buildings were constructed and the original tower was demolished and replaced with the newer, better fortified Martello tower, playfully known as the ‘Cup and Saucer’ by the townsfolk.
In 1922, during the Irish Civil War Irish Free State forces almost shelled the fort into oblivion before the Republican Garrison retreated. Happily, the complex was rebuilt and restored in 2000 and now houses Drogheda Museum.
In addition to craft shops and a cafe, the Museum holds a variety of cultural, historical, military and folk exhibitions, including the Irish History room, an authentic 18th century Irish folk kitchen and laundry, an exceptional collection of Guild and Trade Banners, and one of only four remaining coracles, an ancient two-man fishing vessel, in existence.