St Mary's Church of Ireland
St Mary's church was built in 1807 in the grounds of an ancient monastery founded for mendicant Carmelite friars prior to the Norman invasion. A fragment of the old monastery and several seventeenth century tomb slabs can be seen in the churchyard. The church has recently been restored, and now hosts an interactive exhibition on the history of Drogheda.
The City Walls and Cromwell's
When Drogheda's town walls were built in the 13th century, they encompassed the Carmelite monastery within them. It was at the south east corner of the churchyard that Oliver Cromwell, based on the opposite side of the declavity known as The Dale, breached the wall with cannon fire and enabled his troops to enter Drogheda in September 1649. Part of the wall still stands at the rear of the churchyard.
The first murage charter allowing the Corporation to raise funds towards fortification was granted in 1234 A.D., and a similar charter was made in 1334 A.D. intended 'to last for five years'. The town walls were twenty feet in height and covered one and a half miles, enclosing at the time twice the area of Dublin. They were strengthened at strategic points by towers called tenalia, while the town was entered by seven gates: Butter Gate or John's Gate, Duleek Gate, James' or Dublin Gate, Katherine Gate, Laurence Gate, St Sunday's Gate and West Gate.
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