The castle was built in the 17th century, and is still occupied by the heirs of the original family (the elder son inherits).

Further east through Kilbeggan to pay a visit to Locke's Distillery, "the oldest licensed pot distillery in the world".

We devoted our last day to the prehistoric sites of Newgrange and Knowth, at the bend of the river Boyne beyond Slane.

The name Newgrange is bizarre for a prehistoric site. The sites are passage graves, a large burial chamber beneath a raised mound. Newgrange was erected around 3000 BC. It is acknowledged as the most important Stone Age site in Europe. A vast circular mound, 9m high by 104m in diameter, Surrounded by 97 stones varying from 1.7-4.7m in length. The great stone slabs are decorated with intricate spirals. Inside the mound the passage is a tunnel 19m long leads to a chamber 6m high. On the morning of the winter solstice, a slit above the entrance focuses the sun's rays along the inner tunnel to light up this chamber. The architectural and engineering skill displayed by these people along with the artistic sensibility demonstrated by the carved stones bears testimony to the high degree of culture of this community.

The trees have white down between their leaves