Fodor's Expert Review Navan Centre and Fort

Armagh Family

Just outside Armagh is Ulster's Camelot—the region's ancient capital. Excavations date activity to 700 BC. The fort has strong associations with figures of Irish history. Legend has it that thousands of years ago this was the site of the palace of Queen Macha; subsequent tales call it the barracks of the legendary Ulster warrior Cuchulainn and his Red Branch Knights. Remains dating from 94 BC are particularly intriguing: a great conical structure, 120 feet in diameter, was formed from five concentric circles made of 275 wooden posts, with a 276th, about 12 yards high, situated in the center. In an effort to make the past come alive, in 2020 the center underwent a modern-day rebranding making it a more immersive Iron Age Celtic experience for visitors. On arrival you are welcomed into the clan with a cleansing ceremony and purification involving smoke and fire. Traditional herb bread and mead is offered as stories of Ulster's heroes and warriors are recounted; those who feel the need... READ MORE

Just outside Armagh is Ulster's Camelot—the region's ancient capital. Excavations date activity to 700 BC. The fort has strong associations with figures of Irish history. Legend has it that thousands of years ago this was the site of the palace of Queen Macha; subsequent tales call it the barracks of the legendary Ulster warrior Cuchulainn and his Red Branch Knights. Remains dating from 94 BC are particularly intriguing: a great conical structure, 120 feet in diameter, was formed from five concentric circles made of 275 wooden posts, with a 276th, about 12 yards high, situated in the center. In an effort to make the past come alive, in 2020 the center underwent a modern-day rebranding making it a more immersive Iron Age Celtic experience for visitors. On arrival you are welcomed into the clan with a cleansing ceremony and purification involving smoke and fire. Traditional herb bread and mead is offered as stories of Ulster's heroes and warriors are recounted; those who feel the need may connect with the land and energy through some calming Celtic Mindfulness, all served up with music and mythology. Hour-long guided tours are held covering the whole site, while young children can dig into the past in the Archeo Pit, dress up as a Celt, and touch history with "feely boxes." Ecology trails bring the environmental aspects of Navan to life. There's a bug hotel, listening posts, bird boxes, a viewing hide, and Armagh's only "bug and beastie" viewer.

If you are searching for your ancestors, Armagh Ancestry is based at Navan Fort where they provide a comprehensive genealogical service with a computerized database containing millions of records of all the major family history research sources in Ireland. To find out more it is best to contact the office in advance of your visit; call 028/3752–1802 or visit www.armaghrootsireland.ie.

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Quick Facts

81 Killyleagh Rd.
Armagh, Co. Armagh  BT60 4LD, Northern Ireland

028-3752–9644

www.visitarmagh.com/navan

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Apr.–Sept. £12.50, Oct.–Mar. £7, Closed Mon.

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