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The Boyne Obelisk (Irish: Obelisk Bóinne), a.k.a. King William's Obelisk was an obelisk structure located in Oldbridge, near Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland.

Boyne Obelisk
Obelisk Bóinne
Boyne Obelisk.jpg
LocationOldbridge, County Louth, Ireland
Height53 m (174 ft)
Completion date1736
Dedicated toWilliam of Orange
Dismantled date31 May 1923



The monument was erected in order to commemorate William of Orange's victory over the Jacobite forces of King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and was located near the spot where William's forces crossed the River Boyne to engage James' forces. It was built in 1736, with the foundation stone being laid by Lionel Sackville, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

The obelisk stood until 31 May 1923, when it was destroyed during the Irish Civil War by members of the National Army, allegedly using dynamite stolen from a nearby Irish Army camp.[1]


The Obelisk was made from granite and was built upon a large mound of granite located on the north bank of the River Boyne. At a height of 53 metres (174 ft) it was both the tallest man-made structure in Ireland and the tallest obelisk in Europe at the time of its construction.[2] It initially stood adjacent to a wooden bridge spanning the river, which was later superseded by a lattice iron bridge that was built in 1869 and named the Obelisk Bridge, after the monument.[3]

The square base of the Obelisk bore an inscription on each of its sides. The north side inscription read:

Sacred to the glorious memory of King William the Third, who, on the 1st of July, 1690, passed the river near this place to attack James the Second, and did, on that day, by a single battle, secure to us and to our posterity, our liberty, laws, and religion. In consequence of this action James II left this Kingdom and fled to France. This memorial of our deliverance was erected in the 9th year of King George II, the first stone being laid by Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of the Kingdom of Ireland, MDCCXXXVI[4]

The south side inscription read:

Marshal the Duke of Schomberg in passing this river died bravely fighting[4]

The east side inscription read:

In defence of Liberty, July 1st MDCLXXXX[4]

The west side inscription read:

This monument was erected by the grateful contributions of several protestants of Great Britain and Ireland[4]


  1. ^ "New Orange lodge for banks of Boyne". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Plan to restore Obelisk -". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  3. ^ "A walk 'round the Obelisk' -". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Boyne Obelisk". 31 May 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2018.

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