trim

Trim, County Meath

Trim is the traditional county town of County Meath in Ireland, although the county town is now Navan. The town was recorded in the 2006 census to have a population of 6,870.

The development of a new town centre expansion zone immediately to the west of the existing town centre (at Townparks, Market Street and Emmet Street) is due to begin early in 2007. This will comprise open civic spaces, retail and office space, residential developments and a new headquarters for the Office of Public Works, which is due to decentralise to the town by 2009.

History

Lying 61 m above sea level on the River Boyne, Trim was one of the most important Hiberno-Norman settlements in the Middle Ages. In the 15th century the Norman-Irish parliament met in Trim. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington is reputed to have been born in Dangan Castle between Trim and Summerhill, and a large column to him was erected in the town during British rule, in 1817. The town's main feature is Ireland's largest castle, Trim Castle; other features include two ruined church complexes, the Boyne River for fishing and the Butterstream Gardens, visited by Charles, Prince of Wales in the mid-nineties (no longer open to the public).

The town is home to Western Europe's largest Norman castle, Trim Castle (or King John's Castle) which was built in the late 12th century following the Norman invasion of Ireland's eastern seaboard. Trim and the surrounding lands were granted to Hugh de Lacy, a Norman knight. Richard II of England stayed there before being ousted from power 1412. Once a candidate to be the country's capital, the town has also occupied a role as one of the outposts of the Pale. It was also designated by Elizabeth I of England as the planned location for a Protestant Dublin University (known as Trinity College, Dublin). However this was revised by Sir Francis Drake, who advocated the case for locating the University in Dublin. In 1649 after the sacking of Drogheda, the garrison of Trim fled to join other Irish forces and the town was occupied by the army of Oliver Cromwell. There were many local disturbances in neighbouring villages in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, most infamously the massacre on the Hill of Tara, following the dispersal of the Wexford rebellion. Trim was represented by Arthur Wellesley in the Irish Parliament from 1790 to 1797.

The 19th century saw the construction of Trim Courthouse, St. Loman's Catholic church, St. Patrick's Anglican church, the Wellington column, the current Bank of Ireland building, and Castle Street by Lord Dunsany, a major landowner. Following the Great Irish Famine of 1846-1849, the practices of agriculture in the hinterland altered, with a change in emphasis from tillage to stock raising. This resulted in a change in the business life of Trim. Trim developed as a market town for the productive agricultural hinterland. Some small scale local industries were developed including envelope, and leather product manufacturing. Trim was also chosen as location for the Timoney Engineering company to make Fire Tenders. However in the main the town continued to mainly be a service centre for its immediate area. Trim was the birth place of the mother of prominent Irish nationalist, Pádraig Mac Piarais. During the Irish War of Independence, local companies of the Irish Republican Army took Trim RIC Barracks, a large structure located on the current site of the Castle Arch Hotel, secured the arms from the barracks and then burnt down the Barracks (1920). A large part of the town was burned as a reprisal by the British Crown forces.

A new bridge was built on the Boyne in the 1980s to divert heavy traffic from the town. This was then enhanced by the construction, in a series of stages, of an inner relief road, which now makes it possible for heavy traffic to achieve a complete by-pass of the town. The Watergate bridge was replaced in 2005. The local town council purchased a field beside the new bridge in 2004, as it was expected to be of archaeological significance.

As part of the Civil Service decentralization plan of the Irish government, Trim was chosen as the location of the headquarters for the state body known as the Office of Public Works. The movement of this state administration function to Trim resulted in Trim being the first location outside of Dublin, to complete a satisfactory decentralization move. Trim has seen some growth in recent years with growth as a tourist and business centre.

Places of interest

  • The Town Hall, known locally as the Market House, is reputed as one of Thin Lizzy's first concert venues, and has seen U2 and several other noted bands play there over the years.
  • The yellow steeple (named so for the way the sun sets and rises on it in the giving it a yellow colour) the remains of a 14th century abbey on a hillside near the town centre, is the tallest building in Trim and can be seen for miles around the town.
  • St. Patrick's Church of Ireland church, This church located on Loman Street on the north side of the town is reputed to be the oldest Anglican Church in Ireland (disputed by a church in Armagh which claims its 20 years older then the Trim Church). The original church lies in ruins behind the current newer church which faces onto Loman Street from behind a large boundary wall.
  • Trim Town Walls - Though not much remains of the original walls of trim, the "sheep's gate" stands near the 'yellow steeple' and the castle. The wall in this area is in ruins but it marks the original town boundary, the only intact part of the wall stands on Loman Street It is not marked by any signs but it starts around the front of St. Patrick's Anglican church and runs down to 'the prioy pub'.
  • The Boyne river walk is a walkway along the river Boyne starting at the castle park and running along the Boyne to Newtown abbey. The total walk to Newtown and back takes about 40mins.
  • Newtown Abbey lies on the banks of the Boyne about 15min walk from Trim Castle. It once was the largest Abbey of its kind in Ireland. It is still used as a graveyard for the town so there are no guided tours but there are lots of Information boards with pictures of what the certain area's used to look like.
  • St.John the baptist hospice lies across the Boyne from Newtown abbey. This structure is again free access. At the entrance the is a defence tower which used to part of the walls of the hospice.
  • Trim Circuit Courthouse - Built in the 19th century the courthouse overlooks the main street of the town. Recently extended with an award winning design the courthouse is located next to the main entrance of the castle.

Events

Trim Car Show

An annual classic car show takes place in Trim every July, Trim Veteran and Vintage Rally has been running since 1985. It started in a small yard on Loman Street with just 23 cars. The founder, Norman Pratt, determined to expand the show, approached the Roundtree family who very kindly allowed The Porchfields to be used on the day. It has grown each year since then and there are now in excess of 500 cars and motor cycles on show.

Trim Haymaking Festival

Trim Haymaking Festival is held in the town every mid-June. The Porchfields, an amenity space rich in historic value, are home to a fair, market, and cultural displays. The main event is the traditional making of the first hay of the year by hand and by old-style machinery.

Trim Show

Trim Agricultural Show takes place in the first week of September each year and features trained dogs, as well as horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.

Media

Longwave radio station Atlantic 252's broadcasting station was situated in Trim throughout the 1990s. The station's former buildings are now home to Trim Town Council and Trim Area Committee, two of the administrative bodies within the County of Meath.

Since 1995 the RTÉ Radio 1 longwave transmitter at Clarkestown, some 11 km southeast of Trim, has broadcast the AM version of Radio 1 (sometimes known as RTÉ Europe) on 252 kHz (1190.4 m) at a power of 1.5 MW. Prior to this date, RTÉ's main AM transmission centre had been near Athlone.

The town has been used as the location for some film productions, including the use of Trim Castle to depict York Castle in Mel Gibson's Braveheart.

Trim was also the setting for the first full-length Irish martial arts movie Fatal Deviation. (A low-budget production from 1998 that tells the story of a young man trying to rebuild his life after returning from reform school only to be harassed by a gang of local drug dealers.)

The 1980 movie The Big Red One, starring Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill, was also partially shot in Trim and in particular Trim Castle.

Famous old poem about Trim "The town of Trim is dark and dim and in it lies a Steeple. At every door there stands a whore to mock the daecent people." Author unknown.

Sport

The town is home to Meath Gaelic Athletic Association footballers such as Jack Quinn and Darren Fay and in recent times Brendan Murphy has emerged as the county team's star goalkeeper.

Trim GAA Club have won the Meath Senior Football Championship on one occasion, in 1962. Trim is one of the two most successful teams (the other being Kilmessan) in the Meath Senior Hurling Championship, with both clubs between them winning almost half the championships played.

Transport

Trim railway station was opened on 26 April 1864, closed for goods and passenger traffic in 1947 and finally closed altogether on 1 September 1954.

Trim Aerodrome

Trim Flying Club (EITM) operating from Trim Airfield, Trim Co.Meath Ireland is a voluntary flying organisation, situated in the heart of the Boyne valley of Meath, located in the North-East of the country only 15 minutes flying time from the coast and 15 minutes from Dublin Airport (EIDW). The club is run by a committee, appointed in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Trim Flying Club Ltd., which meets monthly to conduct the business of the Club. Trim Flying Club is a Registered Training Facility (RTF). The airfield has one runway, 28/10 which is 560 meters long. The field is easily recognisably from the air. Simply fly towards Trim town and look to the north east of it. A bright yellow barn located beside the airfield is clearly visible for miles around. As well as Trim Flying Clubs' aircraft, the airfield is also home to many other aircraft including microlights.

Notable Residents

Twinning

Trim is twinned with the town of Étrépagny in France.

See also

References

External links

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