Rossnaree is an integral part of the Boyne Valley’s physiographic history. The 200-acre wooded estate lies directly opposite the megalithic ancient temples of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, known collectively as Brú na Bóinne and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Rossnaree has been identified as the House of Cletty, where it is thought the High Kings coming from Tara would wait before crossing the River Boyne to partake in seasonal ceremonies.
Today, Rossnaree House is a magnificent combination of Victorian and Italianate architecture. The front portion of Rossnaree was built by the Osborne family of Dardistown Castle, who owned the property from about 1720. They originally kept hounds on the site of the present house. In 1855 an Osborne built the main building onto the huntsman’s modest dwelling.
With views to the bend in the River Boyne, guests can still see the ruins of a small cottage where monks from the Cistercian Abbey of Mellifont used to operate their salmon traps. It is here that Finn MacCumhail is said to have cooked the legendary Salmon of Knowledge.
The North side of Rossnaree House looks to The Hill of Slane. This is where St. Patrick lit his paschal fire, following which he was summoned by the High King of Tara and Ireland was subsequently converted to Christianity. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Hill of Tara in the South West.
Down the steep path from Rossnaree into the Glen is where the brave Sir Neil O'Neill, commander of the Jacobite Irish troops, was wounded in the nation-changing Battle of the Boyne. This important battle in Irish history saw King William of Orange defeat Catholic King James, preserving the Protestant settlement in Ireland.