Quick Facts about County Meath

13 Facts about County Meath

1. Meath is known as the Royal County because it was once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland where they ruled from the Hill of Tara

2. It is home to the only official strand races in Europe, which take place on Laytown Beach each year. Racing at the Hill of Crockafotha, Bellewstown has taken place for more than 2000 years.Meath can boast that it really is the County where horses come from after a discovery at Newgrange found that they have been in Meath since the Early Bronze Age.

3. Meath is home to one of three World Designated Heritage Sites in Ireland, The passage tombs of Brú na Bóinne are 500 years older than the Pyramids of Egypt.

4. Meath was once the fifth province of Ireland called Mide which incorporated what is now Westmeath and large parts of Cavan and Longford

5. Trim Castle is Ireland’s Largest Anglo-Norman Castle, It is also the place where the film Braveheart was shot.

6. Ireland’s version of the Olympic games , the Great Aonach took place at Tailteann (Teltown) located half way between Kells and Navan tri-anually for over 3,000 years. Mythical young warriors tested their strength and prowess in a medley of the usual events: wrestling, boxing, chariots races, swimming horses through the river at dawn and sham aquatic fights. For this last one, an artificial lake was created, showing how seriously the games organisers took their responsibility for providing the proper sports facilities. Right from the start, sporting in Meath has meant giving that little bit extra.

7. Halloween was celebrated by the pagans for the Celtic festival of  “Samhain” at the Hill of Ward (Tlachtga) (Tlaachtga)as far back as 200 AD. Nowadays the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival takes place every October in the county.

8. Meath was home to Ireland’s first university at size which dates back to the 6th century, 3,000 students came from Ireland, the British Isles, France and Germany.

9. Battle of the Boyne site in Oldbridge had the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield.

10. Newgrange (3000BC) is the oldest known deliberately orientated structure in the world. It is aligned to dawn at the Winter Solstice, December 21st.

11. Meath is the only county in Leinster which has two Gaeltachts (Irish speaking regions) Rathcairn and Baile Ghib.

12. County Meath occupies an area of 234,490 hectares. Meath enjoys a diverse low-lying topography, ranging from extensive rich pastures throughout the Boyne and Blackwater River Valleys, some Drumlin hills in the north of the county, tracts of peatlands and raised bog in the Southwest and a beautiful coastline of 12 kilometres in the east.

13. The 2011 Solheim Cup took place at Killeen Castle, County Meath on September 23rd to 25th 2011. The competition pits the top 12 European players against their rivals from the United States. There was an attendances in the region of over 100,000.