Drogheda (pronounced dra-he-da) is one of the most enjoyable and historic towns on the east coast of Ireland—and a setting for one of the most tragic events in Irish history, the siege and massacre wrought by Oliver Cromwell's English army. The town was colonized in 911 by the Danish Vikings; two centuries later, it was taken over by Hugh de Lacy, the Anglo-Norman lord of Meath, who was responsible for fortifying the towns along the River Boyne. At first, two separate towns existed, one on the north bank, the other on the south. In 1412, already heavily walled and fortified, Drogheda was unified, making it the largest English town in Ireland. Today, 18th-century warehouses line the northern bank of the Boyne. The center of town, around West Street, is the historic heart of Drogheda.
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