The Centre Built into the Landscape
According the Irish Mythology, the site now known as the Navan fort was once the capital of the ancient region of Ulaidh which was comprised of most of eastern Northern Ireland. In these days, the Navan Fort was known as Emain Macha and is said to have been founded by the goddess Macha. The site itself is a round mound rising out of the ground and was once home to a number of buildings with a large roundhouse in the centre. According to legend, it was founded up to 700 years BC and was home to kings and warriors.
At the centre, you’ll discover the history and mythology of this region. Hear the tales of the Red Branch Knights whose exploits made Emain Macha famous. These include tales of Cu Chulainn, a hero said to have single-handedly defeated the entire army of Connacht, of Conchobar mac Nessa, the King of Ulaidh who ruled from the fort, and the tragic tale of Deirdre. See the historical interpretations of pre-historic life for settlers here. Explore what remains of the mound and see the history uncovered by archaeological digs. The centre is also home to the Navan Restaurant for those looking to take a moment to relax and refuel after a day on the mound.
The Navan Centre and Fort is a window into a long lost time period of human history. A time when a house on a hill was the stuff of kings and warriors and legends ran amok. This centre and fort is an ideal visit for families with kids of all ages as all will easily get caught up in the tales presented here. The centre gives visitors a rare chance to dress as those of the period did and experience a version of their daily lives. The centre is definitely good fun for groups or families and is well recommended for anyone visiting this part of Northern Ireland.
Self Catering in County Armagh
Self Catering in Northern Ireland
Words by John Temke
Image by John Murphy