The Maiden Tower originally served as a watchtower, and – in conjunction with a stone pillar (known as the Lady’s Finger) – as a navigational aid for large ships entering the Boyne River. The tower is 60 feet in height and a spiral staircase leads to its summit, although the interior is no longer accessible to the public.
According to local legend, a young woman was due to be married when her fiance was called to war. Before leaving, he told her that when the ship carrying him returned, he would ask the captain to raise a white flag on the mast if he had survived, and a black flag if had perished in battle.
And so time passed, and the young woman would faithfully keep watch from the tower. Then one day, the ship finally returned with the young soldier very much alive, but he decided to ask the captain to raise the black flag – presumably in an attempt to surprise his future bride when he arrived home, with her now believing that he was lost. But his plan backfired. On seeing the black flag from her viewpoint in the tower, the young woman was overcome with grief and threw herself from the top. When he returned home and realised to his horror that his young maiden had taken her own life and that he was responsible, he too threw himself from the tower. This is (according to the legend) how the Maiden Tower got its name.
Whether true or not, some say that the ghostly figure of a young woman is sometimes seen looking out to sea from the summit of the now sealed up landmark.
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