TAILTEANN & DONAGHPATRICK
AN ANCIENT ASSEMBLY SITE IN COUNTY MEATH
Teltown (Irish: Tailteann) is one of Ireland's most important sacred ritual sites and is a 10 minute drive from Kells Town.
This is the scene of a gathering that took place once a year in August, to celebrate the death of the famous Tailtu, a Spanish princess who married one of the High Kings and built her palace in this area which is named after her on the banks of the Blackwater River.
This three week festival - the Aonách Tailteann pre-dated the original Greek Olympic Games. A principle feature of the festival were the games that took place - instituted by Lugh and known as the Lugh Nosad (Lughnasa: Gaelic name for August).
Legend tells us that St. Patrick visited Tailteann at the time of the royal games and Conall, brother of the HIgh King Laoghaire, received him very hospitably and he baptised him, sometime in the 5th century. This was the first public baptism, recognised by royal edict, and hence in the ancient Irish Calendars.
Conall is said to have granted land to Patrick on which to build a church at DonaghPatrick. The current church was built in 1896, designed by J.F. Fuller, an authority on the Hiberno-Romanesque style who also built St. Patrick's Church in Dublin. It incorporates a medieval tower-house to the west.
Did you know?
'Handfasting' a tradition recognised as a proper form of marriage when Brehon Law was the law of the land is especially well recorded at Teltown.