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Newgrange                                                                                               Old  Photographs of Newgrange

Newgrange Passage Tomb in County Meath epitomises all that is great about Irish archaeology. At 5,200 years old, it is older than the pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge in England and is a proud showpiece for Irish Archaeology. More about Newgrange Newgrange is just one of the items you can learn about at this site and just one of the items that we have lovingly created in miniature for your enjoyment. Newgrange is a Passage Tomb and was built during the Neolithic period about 5,000 years ago.  It covers an area of one acre.  Access to the site is via the Brú na Bóinne Visitors' Centre at Donore in County Meath. It is highly recommended.  

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 About Newgrange                                                               
This magnificent monument at Newgrange County Meath forms part of the Boyne cemetery Group, and is a megalithic passage tomb dating from Neolithic times. It is 5,200 years old which makes it older than the pyramids of Egypt.  It covers more than one acre, and its surrounding wall has 97 kerbstones.  Some of these are highly decorated in passage-grave artwork.  Perhaps the most famous is the entrance stone. The passage grave art motifs are referred to as spirals, lozenges, chevrons, circles, dots-in-circles, and radials.  Cup marks - round bottomed cup shaped holes - also occur. Passage tombs are so-called because of the internal passage which leads to a chamber where the burned bones of the ancestor were placed. The chamber has a roof of interlocking stones known as a corbelled roof. The phenomenon which makes Newgrange so famous is that on each winter solstice - 21st December - the rising sun shines through an opening above the door of the tomb and illuminates the entire passage.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to witness this happening as the privilege has been prebooked for many decades. Here's a picture to show you what you're missing!

Interesting facts about Newgrange.

It probably took several hundred people 20 years to build Newgrange.

Newgrange Passage tomb was built around 3,200 BC during Ireland's Neolithic period.

The people who built it never called it Newgrange. 

The word 'megalithic' is from the Greek words   megas and lithikos meaning 'huge' and 'stone'.

In the 1990s UNESCO declared Newgrange and nearby Knowth to be  World Heritage Sites.

The only access to the site is through the Newgrange interpretive centre where you join a group with a guide who takes you on a short bus journey to the site. Two hundred thousand people visit Newgrange each year.

The imposing white wall which is the dominant feature of the tomb is made, for the most part, from white quartz.  These stones were imported into the area by the constructors of the monument.

Viking graffitti was found in the chamber.

Newgrange was built by our ancient ancestors 3,000 years before the Celts arrived in Ireland!


Passage tombs are usually built on hilltops and are often concentrated in cemeteries.  Four such cemeteries need to be mentioned in any article on Passage tombs - these are the Boyne cemetery group and Loughcrew cemetery in County Meath, and in Sligo, Carrowkeel and Carrowmore are important passage tomb cemeteries.

 

The Entrance Stone to Newgrange Passage Tomb.

 

The passage in Newgrange tomb.


 

 

 
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