Kells Archaeological & Historical Society

Hill of Loyd


Hill of Loyd

The hill, in ancient times known as Mullach Aiti, later to become Mulloyde and to the present day Loyd, was a Hillfort overlooking the River Blackwater, guarding the approaches from the Kingdom of Bréifne (Cavan) to the ancient Kingdom of Midhe (Meath). The hill is witness to some of our earliest settlements, which includes a number of Ringforts, Tumulus, cist graves, souterrains, enclosures, with a number of finds from the Neolithic period. (4000BC)

Throughout time its been a gathering place for numerous reasons including,

Queen Mauve on her epic journey known as the Tain, encamped here while the nearby forest of Crossakeel was cut down

Edward The Bruce also encamped here following his victory at the Battle of Kells in 1314

Before and after the Great Famine, hundreds of destitute people lived on the hill, much to the annoyance of the authorities.


Spire of Loyd

The 100-ft Spire of Loyd is on the summit of a hill, which is 428ft above sea level, in the townland known as the Commons of Loyd, north west of the town of Kells, Co. Meath.  The Spire was built in 1791 by the Headfort family in commemoration of their father, Lord Bective, and to provide work at a time of a local famine.  Henry Baker, who was a pupil of Gandon, designed and built the spire, which is of the lighthouse type.  It has an internal 164-step spiral staircase, with a central protective cage

Many would say it was built for other reasons, including that the Headforts could view their ships coming into Carlingford bay 50 mile away, also that they could watch horse racing down below, a bit difficult as they did not start until 1845.

On the east side of the tower facing Headfort House is the Headfort Coat of Arms with the family crest -consequitur quodquinque petit’. - `He follows what he seeks’. An inscription on the tower reads: `This pillar was designed by Henry Baker Esq. architect. It was executed by Mr. Joseph Beck, stone cutter, Mr. Owen McCabe, Head Mason, Mr. Bartle Reilly, overseer. Anno 1791’. *

Public Opening of The Spire

The Spire is open to the public by members of Kells Archaeological & Historical Society on Public Holidays and during National Heritage Week and local festivals.

We are always looking for Volunteers to help out in guiding and assisting tourists and visitors, if you can assist us and you are up for the challenge give us a call.

The Spire of Loyd will open to the Public

On the following dates in 2019.

Public Holiday Monday 18th March

Public Holiday Monday 22nd April

Public Holiday Monday 6th May

Public Holiday Monday 3rd June

Public Holiday Monday 5th August

Heritage Week: 18th & 25th August

Public Holiday Monday 28th October

Opening Times: 12-4pm each Day

Dates & Times subject to change..

Weather Permitting


Also open during local events.

Group bookings, Contact us.




Gang from Carrickaleck


The Long Man Return of the Maguires Reindeer in the Sky

Holy Men from Cavan Puck of Loyd Double Scared

Guess who

Star of the Show Spain to Ardamagh

Double Trouble Lesser Spotted Long Billed Spire Bird Barred
Ladies in May Long way up Puppy Love
2013 Easter Bunnies Thumbs Up The Man from Leicester

Smily the Joker A Native Returns for Paddy`s Day Green Green Green

Friends-October 2012 Up High Today, Heading Down Tomorrow Sam & Comrades

In the Pink-August 2012 Local Talent- August 2012 Surfing-August 2012

My Daddy is strong-August 2012 Reflections-August 2012 The Sun in their eyes- August 2012
Happy-July 2012 Snap- July 2012 Far & Near-July 2012
Dazling Shirt-July 2012 Girls-Girls-Girls-July 2012 Smiles all round-July 2012
Visitors from not too far -June 2012 Some from the UK-June 2012 And some more local-June 2012
Locals enjoying the views-2011 Pointing the way-2011 Visitors from Down Under

Page Top