WHAT IS THE LEGEND OF SLANE HILL & ST. PATRICK? - St. Patrick was thought to have come to the hill "Hill of Slane" in 433 A.D. where an abbey would later be built. It is believed that St Patrick lit the first paschal fire on the hill in defiance of the pagan High King Lóegaire. The king, who resided at Tara, forbid any other fires being lit within view of Tara during the Beltaine Festival (Spring Equinox).
|Rob and Tom in a doorway to the Abbey|
According to megalithicireland.com, In Muirchú Moccu Mactheni's highly mythicized 7th century Life of Patrick, Lóegaire is described as "a great king, fierce and pagan, emperor of the barbarians." After a number of attempts by Lóegaire and others to kill St. Patrick, Lóegaire is warned by the saint that he must accept the faith or die. Having taken the counsel of his people, he submits and is baptized.
St Erc was believed to be a pagan druid converted by Patrick and appointed first Bishop of Slane. Erc is believed to have trained St Brendan the Navigator at his church in Tralee, and ordained him priest in 512 AD. St Brendan is one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland.
|Ruins of the Abbey|
|Surviving windows of the friary|
|Kieran at the Slane Hill Abbey|
|The bell tower still stands over the cemetery, but the church doesn't|
CHURCH BUILT - In 1512, Sir Christopher Fleming founded a Franciscian Friary on this site and build a church with included a simple bell tower. All of the buildings are in ruins, but the windows, fireplaces and a "double garderobe (toilet) still remain intact.
STRANGE CARVINGS- Over the fireplaces and in certain areas of the Abbey were little gargoyle-like faces. Certainly not something you would expect to see in an Abbey. Over one fireplace in particular there was what looked like a dragon, so we took a picture of it.
NO GHOSTS - Nothing supernatural lingered here either. Apparently, since everything was in ruins, the energy dispersed and moved on!
|A dragon carving inside the Abbey over a fireplace|
NEXT: STORMING TRIM CASTLE!