Thursday, 11 April 2013


Louth is the smallest county in Ireland, covering an area of only 317 square miles. Stretching northwards from the River Boyne to Carlingford Lough, it consists mainly of fertile undulating countryside alongside a coastline of wide sandy bays and occasional rocky headlands.

The territory now known as County Louth figures prominently in the epic tales of ancient Ireland. Sights to see include Monasterboice and Mellifont Abbey.

Monasterboice was founded in the 5th century by St. Buite - a disciple of St. Patrick. It is one of the most famous religious sites in the country. The ruins of the medieval monastery are enclosed within a graveyard in a secluded spot north of Drogheda. The site includes a roofless round tower and two churches.

Monasterboice's greatest attractions, however, are its 10th century High Crosses. High Crosses are distinctive ringed crosses that have become a symbol of Irish Christianity. Mellifont Abbey lies 6 miles west of Drogheda. Founded in 1142 on the orders of St Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh, it was the first Cistercian monastery to be built in Ireland.