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Spire of Lloyd and People's Park
Kells, Co. Meath
Family friendly
Free to visit
Dog friendly
Free car parking
Cloudy days
The Spire of Lloyd is an inland Lighthouse set in the grounds of the People’s Park just outside Kells, County Meath.

The Spire of Lloyd was designed by Henry Aaron Baker for Thomas Taylour, Lord Headfort, in memory of his father, in 1791 and provided work during the time of a local famine. As a large monument visible for miles around, it was also a symbol of Lord Headfort’s wealth and power.

The Spire of Lloyd has a 164 step spiral staircase with a central protective cage. The plaque on the east side of the spire carries the Headfort coat of arms with the family crest.

The spire stands on the site of an Iron Age ring fort, but evidence is mounting to show that the site dates further back to the Bronze Age. Geophysical scans of the hill show a massive hillfort of concentric ditches ringing the summit of the hill.

The hill was known as Mullach Aiti, which graduates to Mulloyde and to the present day Lloyd. The hillfort guarded the approaches from the Kingdom of Bréifne (Cavan) to the ancient Kingdom of Midhe (Meath). From the hill there are magnificent views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Mourne Mountains in County Down on a clear day.

The legendary Queen Maeve (Medbh) was said to have encamped here with her armies on her way to steal Ulster's prize stud bull in the story of Táin Bó Cúailnge, The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Edward Bruce, brother to King Robert Bruce of Scotland, also encamped here following his victory at the Battle of Kells in 1314, as part of his abortive invasion of Ireland.

During the Great Famine, destitute people lived on the hill. The community park, known as The People’s Park, includes a pauper's graveyard in which many victims of the Irish famine lie buried.

When visiting the spire, explore the Ringfort and Blackwater River Looped Walk or enjoy the playground beside the carpark.

The Spire of Lloyd is usually open to visitors on bank holiday Mondays. As this can vary, please contact the Kells Courthouse Tourism and Cultural Hub for more advice and information.

Why we like it
  • Visit an inland lighthouse built in 1791.
  • The spire sits on the site of an ancient ring fort dating from the Iron Age.
  • Explore the grounds of the People’s Park, take a looped walk or let the kids play in the playground.
Tips from locals

Explore nearby Kells Monastic Site - it's less than 10 minutes drive from the spire.

Contact details
R163, Commons of Lloyd, Kells Road, Co. Meath, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend 1 to 2 hours here.

More to discover at Spire of Lloyd and People's Park
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