1736 – Boyne Obelisk, Oldbridge, Co. Louth
Erected to commemorate William of Orange’s victory over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and was located near the spot where William’s army crossed the River Boyne to engage James’ forces. The foundation stone was laid on 17 April 1736 by Lionel Sackville, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Constructed from granite and built on a high rock formation, it was 175ft high making it the tallest obelisk in Europe at the time of its completion.
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, at the head of the Popish army, advantageously posted on the south side of it, 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 the Second left this Kingdom and fled to France. This memorial of our deliverance was erected in the 9th year of King George the Second; The first stone being laid by Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of the Kingdom of Ireland, MDCCXXXVI”
In July 1895, the obelisk was struck by lightning and badly damaged with large cracks. An appeal was made for donations to fund its restoration which was later completed under the supervision of architect James Franklin Fuller. The obelisk stood until 31 May 1923, when it was destroyed by members of the Irish Army.