River Boyne

"Boyne Valley" redirects here. For other uses, see Boyne Valley (disambiguation).
River Boyne (Irish: An Bhóinn or Abhainn na Bóinne)
River Boyne at Bru na Boinne.
Name origin: Boann
State Republic of Ireland
Region Leinster
Counties County Kildare, County Offaly, County Meath, County Louth
 - right River Blackwater
Source Trinity Well, Newberry Hall, near Carbury
 - location County Kildare
Mouth Irish Sea
 - location Between Mornington, County Meath and Baltray, County Louth
 - coordinates 53°43′18″N 6°14′17″W / 53.72173°N 6.23813°W / 53.72173; -6.23813Coordinates: 53°43′18″N 6°14′17″W / 53.72173°N 6.23813°W / 53.72173; -6.23813
Length 112 km (70 mi)
Basin 2,695 km2 (1,041 sq mi)
 - average 38.8 m3/s (1,370 cu ft/s)
The River Boyne and Boyne Valley as seen from the Knowth passage tomb of Brú na Bóinne.

The River Boyne (Irish: An Bhóinn or Abhainn na Bóinne) is a river in Leinster, Ireland, the course of which is about 112 kilometres (70 mi) long. It rises at Trinity Well, Newberry Hall, near Carbury, County Kildare, and flows towards the Northeast through County Meath to reach the Irish Sea between Mornington, County Meath and Baltray, County Louth.

Salmon and trout can be caught in the river, which is surrounded by the Boyne Valley. It is crossed just west of Drogheda by the Boyne River Bridge that carries the M1 motorway and by the Boyne Viaduct that carries the Dublin-Belfast railway line to the east. The catchment area of the River Boyne is 2,695 km2.[1] The long term average flow rate of the River Boyne is 38.8 Cubic Metres per second (m3/s)[2]

Despite its short course, the Boyne has historical, archaeological and mythical connotations. The Battle of the Boyne, a major battle in Irish history, took place along the Boyne near Drogheda in 1690 during the Williamite war in Ireland. It passes near the ancient city of Trim, Trim Castle, the Hill of Tara (the ancient capital of the High King of Ireland), Navan, the Hill of Slane, Brú na Bóinne (an ancient temple), Mellifont Abbey, and the medieval city of Drogheda. In the Boyne Valley can also be found other historical and archaeological monuments, like Loughcrew, Kells, Celtic crosses, castles, and more.

This river has been known since ancient times. The Greek geographer Ptolemy drew a map of Ireland in the 2nd century which included the Boyne, which he called Βουουινδα (Bououinda), and somewhat later Giraldus Cambrensis called it Boandus. In Irish mythology it is said that the river was created by the goddess Boann ('queen' or 'goddess'), according to F. Dinneen, lexicographer of the Irish Gaelic language, and Boyne is an anglicised form of the name. In other legends, it was in this river where Fionn mac Cumhail captured Fiontán, the Salmon of Knowledge. The Meath section of the Boyne was also known as "Smior Fionn Feidhlimthe" [3] (the 'marrow of Fionn Feilim').

Boyne Canal

Section of the Boyne canal which runs parallel to the main river around the Battle of the Boyne site west of Drogheda.

The Boyne Navigation is a series of canals running roughly parallel to the main river from Oldbridge near Drogheda to Navan. Owned by An Taisce and mostly derelict, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland are restoring the navigation to navigable status. The canal at Oldbridge which runs through the battle of the Boyne Site was the first to be restored.

Prehistoric art

A rock with indications of being Prehistoric art was found in August 2013. Cliadh O’Gibne reported through the Archaeological Survey of Ireland that a boulder with geometric carvings had been found in Donore, County Meath. [4]

Ancient log-boat

The Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service (BFRRS), near Drogheda, County Louth, were doing one of their regular operations to remove shopping trolleys from the Boyne, in May 2013, when they discovered an ancient log boat, which experts believe may be 5000 years old. Initial examination by an underwater archaeologist, suggests it could be very rare because, unlike other log-boats found here, it has oval shapes on the upper edge which could have held oars. Investigations are on-going. http://www.archaeology.org/news/867-130513-ireland-boyne-river-log-boat Log boats were found here in 2013

Viking ship

In 2006, the remains of a Viking ship were found in the river bed in Drogheda during dredging operations. The vessel is to be excavated as it poses a hazard to navigation.[5]

Annalistic references

See Annals of Inisfallen (AI)

See also


Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Boyne.
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