The Battle of Aughrim took place on the 25th of July 1691 (12th July on the old calendar). On this day, some 35,000 soldiers from eight nations with loyalties divided between William of Orange and King James II, went to battle in a field near Aughrim in County Galway. As many as 7,000 men are believed to have been slaughtered that day and their bodies were literally left to rot in the field where they fell.
An award-winning visitors’ centre now offers a fuller account of the events leading up to the battle, and details what happened on the day, the aftermath, and the historical implications that the battle had. It also includes displays of artefacts collected from the battlefield.
The address given below is for the visitor centre, but a walking trail does allow access to part of the battle site itself.
As you would expect, the Aughrim Battlefield is a sombre place to visit. Such violence and bloodshed has of course left an imprint on the area and many who visit the now silent lands can sense that something terrible happened here.
Visitors have reported seeing the ghosts of Jacobite soldiers standing completely still in the field, looking into the distance. They disappear if approached. There is an area in the field known as “The Bloody Hollow”. This low-lying area was said to have filled with blood from the thousands who were killed that day. Some visitors say that they have experienced intense fear while in this area, while others feel as if they have been touched by unseen hands. Some suggest that these feelings may have arisen from the soldiers who were injured and left to die, surrounded by their slain comrades, and calling out for help that never came.
A particularly sad spectre is that of a loyal canine who accompanied his master to battle, and who would not leave his side when he was killed. The poor dog is often seen on the spot where his master fell.
Reports of battle-related noises and the screams of dying men have also been reported at the Aughrim Battlefield over the years.
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