A visit to Navan Fort will be incomplete without a visit to Navan Centre, located two miles west of Armagh on the Killylea Road (A28). The Centre is a visitor centre for Navan Fort. Its purpose is to immerse you in the early history of Ireland especially as it revolves around Emain Macha the ancient capital of Ulster that was located where Navan Fort now stands.
A Visit to the Navan Centre
In our four years in Northern Ireland we visited the Centre only once. But we have very nice memories and would happily visit again. The children really enjoyed it. There are two main parts to a visit:
First is the Navan Museum itself.
In it you will find a Modern, child-friendly interactive museum with an exhibition with artifacts that would have been used in the ancient city of Emain Macha. There is a series of ancient Celtic costumes which your children or you are welcome to try on to be photographed. Our children loved this part.
Then there is an audio-visual presentation that will give you plenty of information about the history of the place and life in ancient Ulster. There is also a small but well stocked gift store and, of course, good toilet facilities and a café/restaurant. You can spend easily an hour or so in this main area of the centre.
Once you are finished in the main centre, walk to the period dwelling a few meters outside it.
Children's Hint: If you look carefully at the grassy banks, you might see a rabbit hole or two!
It is a reconstructed early Ulster dwelling made of sticks and plaster, simple but spacious.
There a friendly lady with fiery red hair dressed in ancient costume will explain, very convincingly, life in ancient Ulster.
You will have the chance to see the weapons and shield of an Irish warrior, feel the woolen fleeces used for sitting and as bed covers and enjoy the warmth of a fire, welcome on a cold day. You will enjoy the hands-on approach to history. Standing in the ancient dwelling and hearing tales recounted you almost feel that you are part of history unfolding before you.
Apart from these two buildings, the main centre and the reconstructed dwelling, the centre offers guided tours of Navan Fort that you would be wise to take advantage of.
81 Killylea Road
Tel: (028) 3752 9644
Since you are in the Navan Centre, it would be a pity not to go over to the Navan Fort... to find out about Myths and Legends and the History of the Fort!
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