Navan, at the crucial juncture of the Rivers Blackwater and Boyne, is a busy market and mining town with evidence of prehistoric settlements. It took off in the 12th century, when Hugh de Lacy, the lord of Trim Castle, had the place walled and fortified, making it a defensive stronghold of the English Pale in eastern Ireland. It's now the administrative center of Meath, increasingly part of the Dublin commuter belt.

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