Battle of the Boyne Site

Battle of the Boyne Site

The Battle of the Boyne is one of the most significant events in Irish history.

The Battle of the Boyne was fought between King William III and his father-in-law King James II on 1 July 1690. The kings were rival claimants to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones. Protestant King William (of Orange) had deposed Catholic King James in 1688.

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre

William's army (called Williamites), numbered some 36,000 men and was made up of English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Danish and Huguenots (French Protestants). The opposing army (called Jacobites) were mainly Irish Catholics, reinforced by 6,500 French troops sent by King Louis XIV. The Jacobites chose the River Boyne as the best defence against the Williamites progress south towards Dublin. Drogheda was garrisoned and a force of 25,000 men was positioned at Oldbridge, the most likely crossing point. The armies camped on opposite sides of the river. William's battle plan was to trap the Jacobite army in a pincer movement. He sent a force of 10,000 men towards Slane which drew the bulk of the Jacobites upstream in opposition. With 1,300 Jacobites posted in Drogheda, only 6,000 were left at Oldbridge to repel 26,000 Williamites. All the fighting took place on the south side of the river as the vastly outnumbered Jacobite forces defended their position against the advancing Williamites. William himself crossed at Drybridge with 3,500 mounted troops. The Jacobites retreated across the river Nanny at Duleek and regrouped west of the Shannon to carry on the war.

William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne was the turning point in James' unsuccessful attempt to regain the Crown and ultimately ensured the continuation of Protestant supremacy in Ireland. Of the 61,000 men that fought in the battle, a relatively small number were killed: 1,000 Jacobites and 500 Williamites. The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is located in the recently restored 18th century Oldbridge House, which is on the battlesite.

Townley Hall Woods Trail takes visitors through King William's Glen where the Williamite troops were victorious at the Battle of the Boyne.

Listen to some wonderful audio on the Battle of the Boyne - part of the Boyne Valley Drive: 

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre
Battle of the Boyne Site
+353 (0) 41 9809950

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre,

Oldbridge House,


Co. Meath

F: +353 (0)41 9849873

Other Information: 

Visitor Information: Notes: Events Calendar including details of living history displays is available at Walking: Optional self guiding walks are available through the core battle site and Oldbridge Estate. Use of these walks are free of charge. Visitors are advised to wear suitable footwear as all the walks are on grass, except the Boyne Canal towpath which adjoins the site and is surfaced with gravel. For more information visit Guided Tours Self Guided through Visitor Centre. Groups of 10 or more must be pre-booked Length of Tour: 1 hour

17th century black powder musket firing and cavalry demonstrations every 3rd Sunday of the month from March to September.
Victorian, Family, Nature and other events running all year. Please visit for more details or find us on Facebook @battleoftheboyne.

Audiovisual Presentation Seating: 51 Duration: 15 minutes Languages: English, Irish, French, German, Italian and Spanish Average Length of visit Visitor Centre: 1 hour approx Self Guiding Walks: 1 hour approx Leaflet/Guidebook OPW leaflets are available in English and other languages. A selection of books, postcards and other souvenirs are for sale in the Tea Pavillion. Tea Pavillion : Capacity 100