The highlight of my trip to Drogheda was a visit to the Martello Tower which was restored by Drogheda Corporation and then opened to the public in June 2000.
Millmount Fort is without doubt one of the most dominant features of Drogheda, sited as it is atop its great mound, and clearly visible from most parts of the town and the surrounding areas. The view of modern Drogheda is also superb, if slightly more crowded than it was when Millmount was first fortified. The development of the town in its various stages may be clearly traced, from the 14th Century Magdalene Tower, to the 20th Century Lourdes Hospital. To the East, The Boyne Viaduct, a great feat of 19th Century engineering, which carries the Railway from the North into Drogheda, spans the river Boyne with graceful power.
One of many legends regarding the origins of the mound says that it is the burial place of Amergin, an early Celtic poet, but it has also been suggested that it was possibly a large passage grave like Newgrange.
It was fortified as a motte by tile Normans in the 12th century and a castle was later built on its summit. The fort offered Cromwell the strongest resistance he encountered during the siege of 1649. About 1808, the old fortifications were demolished and the present Martello type tower was erected.
The fort was considerably damaged when it was shelled from the town by Free State forces during the Irish civil war in 1922
The Old Drogheda Society was founded in 1964 by a group of local people with a view to preserving the medieval core of Drogheda. Over the years its membership has grown to over 400. The Society draws its membership not only locally, but from various parts of Ireland as well as Great Britain, Germany and some as far afield as America and Australia.
In 1974, when the partial restoration of the Army barracks at Millmount was completed the Old Drogheda Society was given a room to house it’s artifacts. As the collection grew,more space was required.The former Officer’s Quarters were acquired and now Millmount Museum is housed on three floors in the 19th century building. In 1994, the Society acquired the 18th century Governor’s House, incorporating the administrative offices, Lecture Theatre/Conference Centre, and a research library.