Ardee has the unusual distinction of having two castles. Previously on the northern edge of the Pale, Ardee boasts two 13th century castles on its main street. An easy distinction can be made between the two castles: Ardee Castle has square corners while Hatch’s Castle has round corners. Ardee Castle is in the process of being restored and houses a museum while Hatch’s Castle is still a private residence.
Ardee is the principal town of the rich farming countryside of mid-Louth takes its name from the Irish Atha Fhirdiadh, the ford on the river Dee where the legendary hero in Irish folklore Cúchulainn fought, defeated and killed his friend Ferdia in the course of the Táin Bo Cuailgne.
Between the 12th and 17th century it was in the hands of the English until the O’Neills briefly took it over. Later in the same century James II used it as headquarters for the months prior to the Battle of the Boyne.
After Dundalk and Drogheda, Ardee is the busiest town in County Louth. Originally it was a market town and it’s long wide main street is evidence of this.
The river Dee runs through the town and has a picturesque riverside walk. Close to the river is a statue of Cúchulainn carrying Ferdia.