This national monument are the ruins of Athlumney Castle. It overlooks a key strategic point, where the Blackwater River drains into the Boyne just outside Navan Town. The placename derives from the Irish for “Loman’s ford”. Nearby is an impressive Norman motte built-in 1172 when Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath was granted these lands. The older part of the castle is a fortified tower house dating from the 15th century while the newer part is built in a Tudor style in the late 16th century. On the first floor, there is a secret mural chamber, reached only by a set of stairs from above, assumed to be a priest hole. During the 1649 Siege of Drogheda, the ‘Maguire’ who held Athlumney Castle burned it down to prevent Cromwell from taking possession of it. The last Lord of Athlumney was Sir Launcelot Dowdall. Dowdall lost his lands during the Cromwellian Plantation and got it back under Charles II. He later backed the Catholic King James II, became High Sheriff of Meath in 1686, and eventually left for France after the Battle of the Boyne supposedly burning the castle down again! It then passed into the hands of the Somerville family of Kentstown who took the title of Baron Athlumney and eventually passed to Bishop Nulty who had planned to build a seminary here for the Sisters of Mercy. Archaeological digs uncovered an Early Christian souterrain nearby. Access to Athlumney Castle is via the nearby Athlumney Manor B&B. A key may be borrowed from Pat Boylan, upon leaving a small deposit.