Robert Wood was a traveller, writer and politician. His tomb recorded that he was born at Riverstown Castle, near Trim. Riverstown Castle is about six miles from Trim at the base of the hill of Tara. He was born about 1717. His father was the Presbyterian minister of Summerhill, Rev. James Wood. He was educated at Glasgow University and then travelled extensively in the eastern Mediterranean. In 1750 he and two friends embarked on an expedition into the Near East. The group visited Palmyra, in what is now Syria. Wood described the Roman remains at Palmyra and brought it to the attention of the western world in his book “The ruins of Palmyra”. Wood also published a book on the ruins at Balbec. His books were very popular. After Wood returned to England he became and M.P. and served as an under-secretary of state under William Pitt the elder. At one point it was suggested that he would be appointed Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, but objections were raised as to Wood’s “public and private character” as well as his “mean birth”, and the appointment was never made. Wood died in 1771 and is buried in Putney, Surrey.