360 Degree Video of Navan Centre and Fort, County Armagh

Navan Centre

Updated On: April 20, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

In the heart of County Armagh, nestled amidst the rolling green landscapes of Northern Ireland, lies a place steeped in history and shrouded in myth. The Navan Centre and Fort, an ancient archaeological site, stands as a testament to the rich cultural tapestry of this region. From its enigmatic origins to its pivotal role in ancient Irish society, Navan Centre and Fort beckons visitors to journey through time, unlocking the secrets of the past and illuminating the mysteries of Celtic heritage.

Navan Centre and Fort Co Armagh; Seat of Ancient Irish Kings-Emain Macha /Navan Fort Armagh

Discovering Navan Centre and Fort

Navan Centre and Fort, located just two miles west of Armagh City, encompasses an ancient ceremonial site and the remnants of a formidable Iron Age hillfort. The site holds immense significance in Irish mythology, associated with the legendary tales of the Ulster Cycle, particularly the epic saga of the Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley). It is believed to have been the ancient seat of the Kings of Ulster, including the legendary figures of Conchobar mac Nessa and Queen Macha.

The centre offers visitors a multifaceted experience, combining archaeological exploration, immersive exhibitions, and engaging educational programs. From guided tours of the ancient earthworks to interactive displays depicting Celtic life, the attraction offers a comprehensive insight into the rich heritage of Ireland‘s past.

Exploring the Archaeological Wonders

Navan Fort Armagh – Navan Fort Archaeology to Celtic Myths

At the heart of Navan Centre and Fort lies the ancient hillfort, a sprawling complex of earthworks dating back over two millennia. The hillfort, called Emain Macha in Irish mythology, is encircled by a series of concentric ditches and banks, forming a formidable defensive structure. Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of extensive settlement within the fort, including traces of dwellings, workshops, and ceremonial spaces.

One of the most striking features of the hillfort is the Great Mound, a large circular structure believed to have served as a ceremonial centre and royal residence. Standing atop the mound, visitors can admire panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, gaining a sense of the strategic importance of this ancient stronghold.

Unraveling the Mythological Tapestry

Navan Centre

Navan Centre and Fort are intricately woven into the fabric of Irish mythology, with legends and folklore permeating every aspect of the site. According to ancient tales, Emain Macha was founded by the goddess Macha, who cursed the men of Ulster with the pains of childbirth in a fit of vengeance. The site is also associated with the hero Cúchulainn and his exploits during the Táin Bó Cúailnge, including his single-handed defence of Ulster against the forces of Queen Medb of Connacht.

The centre brings these myths to life through interactive exhibits and immersive storytelling experiences. Visitors can step into the shoes of legendary heroes, participating in mock battles and reenactments that evoke the drama and excitement of ancient Irish sagas. Through these engaging interpretations, the place offers a unique opportunity to connect with the mythology and folklore that continue to resonate throughout Irish culture.

Engaging Educational Programs

In addition to its archaeological and mythological attractions, Navan Centre and Fort offers a range of educational programs catering to visitors of all ages. School groups can participate in hands-on workshops and guided tours tailored to their curriculum, providing a dynamic learning experience that complements classroom studies. Families can also enjoy interactive activities and themed events designed to entertain and educate, fostering a deeper appreciation for Ireland’s ancient heritage.

The centre’s knowledgeable staff and volunteers are pivotal in delivering these educational initiatives, sharing their expertise and passion for history with visitors worldwide. Whether leading guided tours of the archaeological site or facilitating immersive storytelling sessions, they strive to make the place a welcoming and enriching destination for all.

Preserving the Past for Future Generations

Navan Centre and Fort
Navan Centre and Fort

As custodians of Ireland’s ancient heritage, Navan Centre and Fort is committed to conserving and preserving its archaeological treasures. Ongoing research and excavation efforts continue to uncover new insights into the site’s history and significance, shedding light on the lives of the people who once inhabited these ancient lands. Through careful stewardship and responsible management, the centre aims to ensure that future generations can continue to explore and appreciate the wonders of the place for years to come.

Visiting Navan Centre and Fort

For those eager to embark on their journey of discovery, Navan Centre and Fort welcomes visitors throughout the year. Guided tours of the archaeological site are available, led by experts who offer fascinating insights into the history and mythology of this ancient place. The centre’s exhibition galleries provide a wealth of information and interactive displays, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Celtic culture.

Navan Centre and Fort hosts special events and themed activities, from summer solstice celebrations to archaeological open days. These events offer unique opportunities to experience the site in new and exciting ways, whether through live performances, traditional crafts, or guided nature walks.

Exploring County Armagh

Armagh City; A Glimpse of the City in Northern Ireland / County Armagh – Cities of Ireland

While Navan Centre and Fort are prominent attractions in County Armagh, the region offers a wealth of additional landmarks, historic sites, and natural wonders waiting to be discovered. From ancient religious sites to picturesque landscapes, here are some of the must-visit attractions in County Armagh:

1. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium: Situated on a hilltop overlooking the city of Armagh, the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium offers visitors a fascinating journey through the cosmos. Explore interactive exhibits on astronomy and space exploration, attend captivating planetarium shows, and marvel at the historic telescopes used to study the stars for centuries.

2. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh: Known as the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, Armagh is home to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. This magnificent church stands as a testament to the patron saint of Ireland. Explore the cathedral’s rich history, admire its stunning architecture, and learn about the legacy of Saint Patrick, who is said to have founded the church in the 5th century.

3. Palace Demesne Public Park: Nestled in the heart of Armagh City, the Palace Demesne Public Park offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Stroll through lush gardens, wander along tree-lined paths, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The park also features historic buildings, including the Archbishop’s Palace and the Armagh County Museum.

4. Loughgall Country Park: Located near the village of Loughgall, Loughgall Country Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore scenic walking trails, go fishing on the tranquil lake, or enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the picturesque surroundings. The park also offers a range of recreational activities, including golf, tennis, and children’s play areas.

5. The Ring of Gullion: Stretching across the southern part of County Armagh, the Ring of Gullion is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich biodiversity. Explore ancient archaeological sites, such as the legendary Slieve Gullion Neolithic burial cairn, hike along scenic trails, and soak up the stunning views of rolling hills and verdant valleys.

6. Oxford Island Nature Reserve: Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh, Oxford Island Nature Reserve is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Explore diverse habitats, including woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, and spot various bird species, including swans, herons, and kingfishers. The reserve also offers scenic walking trails, bird hides, and educational exhibits.

From ancient landmarks to natural wonders, County Armagh offers a diverse range of attractions that will captivate visitors of all ages. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventure, you’ll find plenty to see and do in this enchanting corner of Northern Ireland.

The Optimal Season to Explore County Armagh

Each season in County Armagh offers its unique allure, making it an enticing destination year-round. Spring heralds the awakening of nature, with vibrant blossoms adorning the orchards and parks and mild temperatures ideal for exploring the region’s historic sites and scenic landscapes. Summer brings long, sun-filled days, perfect for strolls through lush gardens, picnics in the countryside, and outdoor adventures on the shores of Lough Neagh.

Autumn casts a spell of enchantment as the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of fiery hues, providing a breathtaking backdrop for exploring the Ring of Gullion and other natural wonders. Finally, winter blankets County Armagh in a serene beauty, with frost-kissed landscapes and cosy fireside retreats offering a warm welcome to visitors seeking tranquillity and relaxation. Regardless of the season, County Armagh beckons with its timeless charm and abundance of attractions, ensuring there’s never a wrong time to experience the magic of this captivating region.


Navan Centre and Fort is a testament to the enduring legacy of Ireland’s ancient past, inviting visitors to embark on a journey through time and explore the mysteries of Celtic heritage. From its enigmatic hillfort to its rich mythological associations, the site offers a captivating glimpse into the lives and legends of Ireland’s ancestors. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a mythology buff, or simply curious about the ancient world, Navan Centre and Fort promises an unforgettable experience that inspires and enlightens you.

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