Download Discover Navan Fort Heritage App

photograph of presenter Cormac Ó hAdhmaill

Videos are presented by Cormac Ó hAdhmaill

Download the new Discover Navan Fort Heritage app, free from the App Store.  Let  Cormac Ó hAdhmaill be your guide as you explore this unique historical location. The Discover Navan Fort Heritage app features presenter-led video clips that showcase the rich archaeological and mythological heritage of this important prehistoric site.

Navan Fort in the Iron Age - Site B Stone Cairn

Navan Fort in the Iron Age – Site B Stone Cairn

Videos are located at  11 information points  around Navan Fort. These videos are available in English and Irish and feature maps, reconstructions and re-enactments that relate to each location. The site’s  Late Bronze Age and Stone Age origins are explored and its association with the heroic Ulster Cycle revealed.

The app can be enjoyed anywhere but it is best experienced at Navan Fort Co. Armagh. On location, at Navan Fort,  GPS will trigger video content relating to your location, off location video is triggered by clicking the information points on the map.


The mound at Navan Fort

The mound at Navan Fort

Download the app using a WIFI connection, and make your way to Navan Fort, which is situated 2 miles outside Armagh City. Choose your language; English of Gaelige and select your location.




Map showing markers that indicate video content located at navan Fort

Markers indicate video content located at Navan Fort

At Navan Fort: use the map to explore the location and locate information points. When you reach a point, video relating to that location will play. Off location, you can still view the videos by clicking on the information points.



Cú Chulainn’s Challenge in the App Store

cu_challenge_homev3Cú Chulainn’s Challenge (formally known as Setanta’s Challenge) is now available, free to download, from the App Store for iPhones.  Cú Chulainn’s Challenge is an adventure game for children that explores the rich mythological heritage of Navan Fort / Eamhain Mhacha. This atmospheric app is available in English and Irish and uses video and audio to recount the heroic tales of Setanta/ Cú Chulainn.

Cú Chulainn’s Challenge game

Navan Fort or Eamhain Mhacha is a place of of epic tales where great heroes have been made. But the heroes of Eamhain Mhacha are in trouble – King Conor Mac Neasa and his Red Branch Knights are under a spell at the top of the mound. Only a warrior like Cú Chulainn, can help them to escape, but Cú Chulainn is away fighting!

Cú Chulainn's bridle bit

Cú Chulainn’s bridle bit

Can you find six of Cú Chulainn’s most treasured belongings that are hidden around Navan Fort? If you can, you will gain his strength and cunning and break Macha’s spell and free King Conor and his men.




But it won’t be easy, Queen Méabh’s spies and soldiers are all around and they will try and take Cú Chulainn’s weapons and tools for themselves.

Cú Chulainn's Challenge map

Cú Chulainn’s Challenge map

Cathbhadh the druid, your spirit guide from the otherworld, will help you with your mission, use the map to find all six items to defeat Queen Méabh and to set King Conor free.




More information on getting to Navan Fort and playing  the game is available on the Cú Chulainn’s Challenge App page. NB The app uses GPS to  embed the game play at the historic site of Navan Fort and cannot be played elsewhere. The app will also be available for Android devices in the New Year.

Filming Setanta’s Challenge

Setanta’s Challenge is the first of the two bilingual Navan Fort heritage apps. Setanta’s Challenge aims to bring the rich mythological heritage of Navan Fort to life for the under-12s. The app features an interactive treasure hunt and video footage that recount the adventures of Setanta/ Cú Chulainn at Navan Fort.

King Conor and his men are suffering from the curse of Macha and are trapped at the top of the mound. You must find  Cú Chulainn’s weapons which are hidden around the fort to defeat Meabh’s spies and free King Conor and his men.


The following gallery contains photographs from filming Setanta’s Challenge video sequences.  Antaine filmed the video for the app with the help of the  Irish Arms …

Smartphone ownership in UK Overview

Some background information on smartphone ownership in the UK to help better understand and target the appropriate audience for the Navan Fort Heritage apps. This is a summary of my blog post Tablet and Smartphone Ownership in UK and cites  OFCOM’s latest reports: Market Communications Report July 2013 and Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes October 2013.

young boy with smartphone
29% of children aged 5-15 own a smartphone

Half of UK adults own a smartphone

The OFCOM Communications Market Report found that smartphone and tablet ownership in the UK had risen sharply and nearly three-quarters of all handsets sold (74%) in Q1 2013, were smartphones. Half of all adults (51%) in the UK now own a smartphone; although ownership varies significantly with age with three-quarters of 16-24 year olds (77%) compared to 11% of 65-74 year olds own a smartphone.

In February 2013, 30% of web traffic came from a smartphone or tablet

The majority of  smartphone owners (96%) use their device to access the internet and in Q1 2013, 49% of UK adults accessed the internet on their handset. In February 2013, nearly a third of webpage traffic (30%) came from mobile phones (23%) and tablets (8%) whereas desktop and laptop browsing declined by 20% .

29% of children aged 5-15 own a smartphone

The OFCOM Media Use and Attitudes report found that 20% of 3-4 year olds, 22% of 5-7s, half of 8-11s and 89% of 12-15s had used a smartphone and smartphone ownership among under-16s had increased to 29%. The percentage of children owning a smartphone increases with the age of the child from 0% – 89%. Low ownership levels are recorded among 3-8 year olds but this begins to rise from the age of 9 years and outstrips non-smartphone ownership by the age of 11. Only 1% of 5-7 year olds, 18% of 8-11s and 62% of 12-15s own a smartphone.

Nearly a quarter of UK households have a tablet computer

small girl uses tablet
28% of 3-4 year olds have used a tablet computer at home

The OFCOM Communications Market Report  found that tablet ownership had more than doubled to 24% of UK households, and 29% of NI households. However, just under half (46%) of these tablets are 3G-enabled and only 20% of tablet owners have a mobile subscription for a 3G connection. Three-quarters (76%) of parents owning tablets consider them a useful tool for entertaining and/or educating their children. Four in five parents said their children used a tablet computer at least weekly, with two in five reporting daily use by their children and 17% saying their children use it more than once a day.

42% of 5-15 year olds and 28% of 3-4s use a tablet computer at home

The OFCOM Media Literacy October 2013 report found that children’s access to tablets had doubled, with half of households with 3-15 year olds owning a tablet. 42% of 5-15 year olds and one-quarter (28%) of 3-4s use a tablet computer at home. Almost a quarter of children use tablets to access the internet and 12% of 3-4 year-olds have used a tablet computer to go online. Tablet ownership among children increases with age; 3% of 3-4 year olds, 13% of 5-7s, 18% of 8-11s and one-quarter of children aged 12– 15 (26%) have their own tablet computer.

Teachers estimate that by 2015, a quarter of pupil-facing computers will be tablets

BESA, the British education suppliers association, surveyed 500 UK schools and found that 6 per cent of all pupil-facing computers in schools are tablets (4.5 per cent in primary, 6.9 per cent in secondary). The schools surveyed, forecast that by the end of 2013 the percentage of tablets will have risen to 10% and by the end of 2015 this is predicted to rise to 24 per cent of all pupil-facing computers.

Navan Fort photographs

IPhone displaying map at Navan Fort

Testing the GPS on the iPhone at Navan Fort

I spent the second half of the brainstorming day testing the accessibility and GPS / 3G signals of the proposed routes  for the Navan Fort Heritage apps. I was delighted to discover that the GPS and 3G worked well across the Navan Fort site. I’ve mapped and photographed a possible journey around the site. This will enable us to better design the route of both heritage apps.

View Navan Fort Photographs in a larger map

I found that my research into history of Navan Fort helped me to recognise and understand the landscape better which made for a more rewarding visit. That sense of enjoyment which stems from a recognition and understanding of our surroundings is a key aim for the both Navan Fort apps.

Digital Key Apps

These Digital Key apps  demonstrate how mobile technology can be used to bring the history of a location to life. The apps are designed to be played on location but also have versions that can be played off-site.

Removing the artefacts has disturbed the spirits; now nine ghosts haunt the ruins, and each spirit has a tale to tell. The Ghosts of Nendrum is an interactive, location-based app that explores the history of Nendrum Monastery in County Down, Northern Ireland. This game allows you to explore the ruined monastic site and meet the ghosts of past inhabitants.

It’s 1315, Robert Bruce has defeated Edward II at Bannockburn and now his brother, Edward Bruce, is making his way to Ireland. Get ready to defend Carrickfergus Castle against the Scottish attack …

The Siege is an interactive, location-based, mobile app set around the walls of Londonderry. The Siege app combines GPS and mobile technology with contemporary real life accounts and dramatized reactions from townspeople to bring the key events of the 1689 Siege to life. Excerpts from the diaries and journals of Captain Thomas Ash, Reverend George Walker and Captain Richards are combined in this atmospheric, educational app.