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.

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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’. *

 

Gallery

 

 

 

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

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