The Lime Tree

Duleek , Co. Meath

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About The Lime Tree

The Lime Tree in Duleek, Co. Meath.

William of Orange and Mary accepted the throne of England in 1698, supplanting King James II who took refuge with his ally and sponsor Louis XIV of France. The tensions between James and William would reach their highpoint in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne in Meath, where James was defeated.

In Duleek at that time there was a very significant colony of Huguenots (French Protestants) who had fled persecution in France. Following the Battle of the Boyne the people of Duleek planted two saplings entwined around each other, one an ash (native to these islands) and the other a lime (foreign and exotic) to represent Mary and William. The ash was still alive in 1849 and was referred to by Sir William Wilde following a visit to Duleek. It did not however survive into living memory. The lime tree, representing William, is still standing and is the oldest and largest lime tree in Ireland. The indent into which the ash tree was embedded is clearly visible on its north side.


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