vintage photo of Ardee co Louth Ireland
photo of Hatch's Castle in Ardee, Co Louth
photo of Ardee Castle in Louth Ireland

Discover

ARDEE

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.

The Battle of the Ford

How Ardee Got Its Name

Cuchulainn and Ferdia after the battleThe Ford as it was known is located 300 yards west of the existing bridge across the river Dee in Ardee, county Louth and was the site of one of ancient Ireland’s epic battle between former friends Cúchulainn and Ferdia during the legendary tale of the Cattle Raid of Cooley or the Táin Bo Cuailgne.

Cúchulainn, warrior and defender of Ulster with the men of Ulster opposed the advances of Queen Maebh of Connaught who was progressing east with her army to steal the famous Brown Bull of Cooley.

In the army pf Queen Maebh only one man Ferdia was a warrior strong and skilful enough to face Cúchulainn and have a hope of victory. But Ferdia and Cúchulainn having being fostered together as children were true friends and Ferdia did not wish to fight.

Knowing this, Queen Maebh put Ferdia under a géas (spell) and tricked him into fighting his comrade Cúchulainn (cuchulainn). “They fought at the Ford for four days with such ferocity and skill that it was not seen before in this land”, while at night they would eat together as brothers and tend each others wounds, Cúchulainn begging Ferdia not to continue. On the fourth day, Ferdia struck the first major blow but was slain by the greater might of Cúchulainn (cuchulainn) the Ulster champion. Cúchulainn carried Ferdia’s body to the northern bank of the River, where the waters swelled and turned red with blood and bitter tears.

Ferdia was given a royal burial at a large mound to the east of the ford on the southern bank of the River Dee, the mound intact until the end of the 19th century. The Ford on the river became known as “Atha Fhirdiadh” (the place or ford of Ferdia), later anglicised to Ardee.

drawing of Queen Maebh
photo of Cattle Raid of Cooley
photo of Cuchulainn & Ferdia statue

What's

AROUND

For The Kids

Celtic Adventures

Based in Clogherhead beach Celtic adventures caters for Children of all ages. here you can experience cliff jumping or canoeing the river Boyne. Celtic adventures is an award winning ne startup and have been getting positive exposure in the media.

Celtic Adventures also have mobile fun whom do alot of work with corperat companies for team building days and weekends.

for more info visit Celtic adventures

Funtasia

Funtasia Aqua Park is based in drogheda. There are lots to offer for all the family from pools to slides, rock climbing and bowling there is enough to keep you entertained in the good weather and bad.

visit funtasia for more information.

WhiteRiver Park

Whiteriver Park is a Motorsport Ireland licenced 1.200 metre outdoor kart racing circuit, built to F.I.A international standard for ages 8 to 80 years.
Whiteriver Park Ltd Karting

Tayto Park

Tayto park is one of Irelands Largest outdoor parks only 40 minutee drive from us it is easly accessableto get to. This is a must experience fun for all the family.

visit Tayto park for more details

For The Family

War Museum

The Irish Military War Museum and family park,offers a fascinating insight into Irish participants’ involvement in both World War One and World War Two, as well as other military conflicts in world history. The Irish Military War Museum, covering 5,000 square feet of floor space, will represent a distinctly non-political but ‘must see’ educational and historical resource for people of all ages and from right across the island of Ireland and beyond

Newgrange

Newgrange is a Stone Age (Neolithic) monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, it is the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East. Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound 85 meters (93 yards) in diameter and 13.5 meters (15 yards) high with a 19 meter (21 yard) stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art.

Knockabbey Castle

Just minutes from Ardee
photo of Knockabbey Castle co louth Ireland

Tain Way Trail

Longest and most historic route in Ireland
photo of walking trail Tain Way

Culture & Heritage

Angus Burnes

The Museum houses one of the finest collections of WW2 Allied and Axis vehicles and deactivated weapons ever assembled in Ireland.
photo of The Agnes Burns cottage

Mellifont Abbey

Mellifont Abbey was the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142 by Saint Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh. The abbey was built on the banks of the river Mattock about 10km (6 miles) north of Drogheda and about two miles from monisterboyce

Monisterboyce

Monasterboice is one of Ireland’s earliest Christian sites, the name derives from the Irish ‘Mainistir Bhuithe’ (monastery of Buite). St. Buite was an Irish monk and follower of St. Patrick, it is said that in 480, St. Buite on a return trip from Rome raised Nechtan Morbet, the King of Pictland (Scotland), from the dead.

Jumping Church

It is believed Diomoc, a disciple of St. Patrick and St. Benen, founded this church.  By c.1270 it was in the ownership of the Knights Templars of Kilsaran.  They dedicated the church to St. Catherine.  The Knights Templars held it until the suppression of their order in 1314.  It then passed to the Knights Hospitallers until they were suppressed by Henry VIII in 1540.

Legend

The church is more famously known as the ‘Jumping Church’.  The west gable wall of the church has jumped inward to a few feet from its foundations.  This is believed to have happened in February 1715 during a storm. Found just 4km south of Ardee, County Louth, the Kildemock Jumping Church ruin is a popular attraction. According to legend, the west gable of the building jumped two feet inside the wall of the original foundation to exclude an excommunicated church member who had been buried in the church.  The ruin dates back to the 14th century, though the site also contains carved stones from the 13th century.

Golfing

Ardee Golf Club

d.

Nuemore Golf Club

Cabra Castle

Make

A RESERVATION