Where the Boyne and the Blackwater meet, sixteen miles west of Drogheda, is the town of Navan; the administrative capital of Co. Meath.
Navan started from a motte and bailey castle built in 1185 by Jocelyn de Angulo, a lieutenant awarded the Barony of Navan by Hugh de Lacy, the Anglo-Norman Lord of Meath. The fort was constructed on top of a hill that legend says was the burial mound of Odhbha, wife of Eermón, the Milesian invader.
Navan’s economy is still largely supported by the underground Tara Mine, which employs much of the town’s population. 200,000 tonnes of Zinc and 400,000 tonnes of lead are brought out every year, and the mine’s life is expected to go beyond 2015.
The town is also the birthplace of Francis Beaufort, in 1774, who devised and instituted the Beaufort Scale of wind measurement, before going on to achieve the naval rank of Admiral prior to his death in 1857.
Pierce Brosnan, best known for his television role as Remington Steele and as the fifth actor to play James Bond 007, grew up in Navan, as did comedians Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan, both of whom attended St Patrick’s Classical School.
Visitors to Navan can expect to be enchanted by the towns delights. There are many wonderful places to stay, restaurants, cafes and bars. Walks along the river or through the ramparts are recommended, as is Navan’s self-guided walking trail, known as the Points of Pride, which starts at the Solstice Arts Centre and explores much of the town’s history and heritage.