Oldcastle, established by the Naper family in the 18th century when they took control of the lands formerly owned and inhabited by the Plunketts, including St Oliver Plunkett the martyred, 17th century Lord Archbishop of Armagh, who was born in the area. The town can be found approximately fourteen miles northwest of Kells.
The area also produced the noted Quaker, Isaac Jackson, who went on to move his extended family to Chester County, Pennsylvania and establish a large Quaker community.
The town suffered through the Great famine. The Gaelic attachment to pastoral farming meant that the population was decimated as people starved and families left the area. In keeping with the Gaelic culture, the town has strong ties to Irish Republicanism. A paper published locally at the beginning of the 20th century eventually had its name taken on by an emerging Irish republican political party: Sinn Féin.
August every year brings the Oldcastle Show to Gibson National Park, and Le Cheile festival takes over the town on the bank holiday weekend. Famous Irish musical acts such as Shane McGowan and The Saw Doctors have headlined the festival in the past.
Oldcastle also plays host to several of Co. Meath’s featured attractions: The famous Loughcrew Cairns, a collection of megalithic tombs that date back over five millennia; the beautiful Loughcrew House and Gardens, six acres of gorgeous, landscaped woods, clearings lakes and meadows; and the Loughcrew Adventure Centre, where all kinds of exciting outdoor activities are available to try out.