Millmount is a well-known monument overlooking the town of Drogheda at the gateway to the Boyne Valley. It is a mound with a martello tower on the top, built by the British in 1808. But just how old is the mound itself, and does it have any connection with Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth? The following passages from Island of the Setting Sun give a taste of our investigation into the age of Millmount:
|The Millmount at night with its illuminated martello tower, built by the British as 'Richmond Fort' 200 years ago in 1808.
The Millmount is the most remarkable monument in Drogheda,
dominating the skyline above the ancient town from its lofty position
on a high bank overlooking the River Boyne. The steep-sided mount,
with the striking Martello tower sitting on top, can be seen for miles. It is
visible from most of the approach routes to the town, and its position on
one of the highest points above the Boyne gives it a special prominence, a
stately presence above the many steeples and other buildings of the town.
The Millmount has a varied and fascinating history. Different sources
tell different stories about its origin and various purposes over the ages.
Some accounts say it was raised by Turgesius the Dane in 830 AD; others
that it was built as a fort by the Vikings; some attribute the construction
of the motte-and-bailey to Hugh de Lacy, who established a borough on
the south side of Drogheda after the Anglo-Norman invasion of the
The Millmount has other claims to fame. In 1649, when Oliver
Cromwell laid siege to the town, the mound was said to have offered
strong resistance. In 1808, it was known as Richmond Fort, and it was at
this time that the famous Martello tower was constructed on top of the
mound by the British. This same Martello tower was later shelled during
the Irish Civil War of 1921–22.
However, we are not interested in
Millmount’s recent history. There are
other sources which push Millmount’s
origin way back, considerably earlier
than the 830 AD of Turgesius’s
invasion. In fact, as investigations were
to reveal, Millmount conceals a hidden
legacy, a wonderful, awe-inspiring
genesis which has been lost to the
passage of time, garbled and confused
by successive layers of myth and history,
and revealed only by a diligent and
intuitive study of the various elements
which form part of this elusive legacy.
These elements, including astronomy,
mythology, the ancient landscape, local
folklore, combine to bring to life the
story of this wonderful true heritage of the Millmount, and its place in the grand scheme of things in the
ancient “Valley of the Milky Way”.
We believe from our investigations that the mound at Millmount is a re-used passage-tomb, dating all the way back to the Neolithic, and that local folklore which states it is part of the Brú na Bóinne complex is accurate. Millmount is said to be the burial place of the Milesian warrior-bard-astronomer, Amergin.
Millmount and the Boyne
To give you the best possible taste of Millmount and its alignments and connections with the wider landscape, you should view our presentation called "Millmount's Cosmic Alignments" which was given as a presentation to the Old Drogheda Society at Millmount in February 2008 and then as a talk to Art in Action in June 2008.
This will give you a good feeling for what the place is about. This is also a good summary of the information about Millmount given in our book, Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers, except this presentation is more image rich and should help you better understand it's significance.
Note: Mythical Ireland is a non-profit-making website and endeavours at all times to ask for permission for use of images and to give proper credit for same. If you see an image in the following presentation which is yours and wish to be credited, please contact me immediately at mythicalireland AT eircom DOT net. Thank you.