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Ireland 8. Newgrange, Co. Meath

See also Knowth

Newgrange archaeological site: The Brú na Bóinne visitor centre for the prehistoric monuments at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in the valley of the River Boyne, north of Dublin and 8km west of Drogheda, County Meath, Ireland.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: Access to the various display areas is easy.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The cafe!

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The Newgrange monument can be seen on the distant hill above the River Boyne from the visitor centre.

 

From the Newgrange visitor centre you cross the River Boyne on a footbridge to get the bus to this famous archaeological site.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The archaeological site of Newgrange is one of the finest tombs in Europe known as a passage grave and was constructed ~3000 BC (so it is now ~5000 years old and predates the pyramids!). Your first impression of the white-stoned facade of the Newgrange mound and some of the standing stones that seem to guard the entrance to the passage tomb complex.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The white quartz stones of the facade and some of the 97 massive surrounding dark kerb stones of Newgrange.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The white quartz stones are mixed in with rounded darker stones from the River Boyne.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: On the far left side of the white-stoned facade is a large 'conglomerate'? standing stone. Many of these massive standing stones and the kerb stones do not occur locally and have been transported, by considerable effort, over quite long distances. There are 12 giant standing stones left surrounding the tomb complex. There are no 'satellite' smaller passage tombs associated with the mound at Newgrange like you get at Knowth.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The 'walk-in' entrance to Newgrange and the lintel stone 'guarding' the passage and above it the false lintel through which the Sun's rays shine at the rising of the Winter Solstice Sun. This roof box was only discovered in 1963. At the end of the passage is a cruciform arrangement of chambers and the winter solstice sunlight shines onto the very back wall in line with the entrance passage to the tombs. In the chambers were found great carved stone bowls containing the cremated remains of several individuals.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The magnificently carved stone in front of the entrance to Newgrange - it must be one of the most photographed decoratively carved stones in the Ireland, and no wonder!

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The higher false lintel stone is also quite richly carved with a symmetrical pattern.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The full symmetrical view of the Newgrange entrance, the white-stoned facade and the standing stones arranged in front of this magnificently restored tumulus.

 

Newgrange archaeological site: Some of the kerb stones are carved with spirals and simple geometrical patterns of squares.

Newgrange archaeological site: The meaning of the carvings remains a mystery!

 

Newgrange archaeological site: The largest standing stone associated with the monument is on the far side of the mound from the white quartz stone facade where the entrance is.

 

Newgrange archaeological site:

 

 

 

Goodbye Newgrange megalithic tomb complex and back to the bus to head for the tombs of Knowth!

See also Knowth

 

 

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There is a good cafe in the Newgrange archaeological interpretative visitor centre (Brú na Bóinne at, left & right), County Meath, for one of Irelands greatest prehistoric sites. The Newgrange tumulus (above) and the burial mounds at Knowth (below) and Dowth (can't visit) constitute a fascinating historical experience dating from over 5000 years ago. The passage tombs and carved giant curbed stones surrounding them are an unforgettable experience. There are good displays of the archaeology and history of the Boyne Valley and buses to the monument sites. Both archaeological sites lie on the hillsides above the River Boyne which you cross via a suspension bridge from the Brú na Bóinne tourist centre to catch the bus to the Newgrange or Knowth archaeological site.

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