Located in County Meath, Bective Abbey was founded in 1147. Today it is nothing more than ruins, yet its walls still stand firm, and a view to the pastureland that surrounds it is lovely.
After leaving the abbey, which was featured in the filming of Braveheart (1995), we headed to Trim, the town containing more medieval buildings than any other in Ireland. The main attraction for us was Trim Castle.
Trim takes its name from the Irish “Áth Truim” meaning “The Ford of the Elder Trees” as it was an important fording point on the River Boyne. As early as the fifth century, an Irish chieftain’s dún (fort) and a monastery were situated here. The castle is the largest and best preserved Anglo-Norman castle in all of Ireland.
Our tour guide Susan did a marvelous job explaining the history of the castle, both long ago during the Norman invasions, and more recently.
Like Bective Abbey, the castle was used as a filming location for Braveheart, but to a much greater extent. It was used to represent scenes that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland. An entire village alleged to be the streets of London was recreated on the grounds.
In the entry way to the castle there is a tangible remembrance of the scene where William Wallace, Scottish knight and a main leader during the Scottish Wars of Independence, was executed on 23 August 1305.
Mel Gibson portrayed Wallace in the film and fared much better. While most cast and crew resided in Trim during filming, he was flown in daily by helicopter from the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin.
Beam me up, Scotty.
Finish with Tigh Fox in Galway, on to Renvyle arrival and sunset picture