Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre.
A passage measuring 19m (62ft) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves.
The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun on the mornings around the Winter Solstice.
Newgrange is a Stone Age (Neolithic) monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath,
it is the jewel in the crown of Ireland's Ancient East.
Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.)
which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza.
The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called
megalithic art; the most striking is the entrance stone.
Newgrange UNESCO World Heritage Site
Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley.
Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that
together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now
recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple
is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious
and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige
and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
Newgrange is a large kidney shaped mound covering an area of over one acre,
retained at the base by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with
megalithic art. The 19m (62ft) long inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber
with a corbelled roof. The amount of time and labour invested in construction of
Newgrange suggests a well-organized society with specialised groups responsible
for different aspects of construction.
Newgrange is part of a complex of monuments built along a bend of the River
Boyne known collectively as Brú na Bóinne. The other two principal monuments are
Knowth (the largest) and Dowth, but throughout the area there are as many as
35 smaller mounds.
Tomb of Newgrange
Tomb of Newgrange | National Geographic
to Newgrange is only by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre on the
south side of the river Boyne. Newgrange is on the north side of the river Boyne, visitors cross the river by pedestrian
bridge and take a shuttle bus to Newgrange. There is no direct public access to
Newgrange by road, except for mornings around the Winter Solstice,
so if using a GPS Satellite Navigation System, your destination is Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre.
Experience the heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our exclusive full-day private tours.
Delve into the past with a visit to Newgrange and Knowth World Heritage sites.
Explore the fascinating Hill of Tara, the historic seat of power of the High Kings.
Journey to the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the
winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the
passage at Newgrange there is an opening called a roof-box. This baffling orifice
held a great surprise for those who unearthed it. Its purpose is to allow
sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around
December 21st, the winter solstice. At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the
roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear
of the chamber.
As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so
that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17
minutes, beginning around 9am. The accuracy of Newgrange as a time-telling device is remarkable when one considers
that it was built 500 years before the Great Pyramids and more than 1,000 years
The intent of the Stone Age farmers who build Newgrange was undoubtedly to mark the beginning of the new year. In
addition, it may have served as a powerful symbol of the victory of life over
Each year the winter solstice event attracts much attention at Newgrange. Many
gather at the ancient tomb to wait for dawn, as people did 5,000 years ago. So
great is the demand to be one of the few inside the chamber during the solstice
that there is a free annual lottery
(application forms are available at the Visitor Centre). Unfortunately, as with
many Irish events that depend upon sunshine, if the skies are overcast, there is
not much to be seen. Yet all agree that it is an extraordinary feeling to wait
in the darkness, as people did so long ago, for the longest night of the year to end.
follow the school curricula and are an aid for teachers and students.
Private Tour to Newgrange, Knowth, and the Boyne Valley
Embark on a journey through time and heritage with our exclusive private tour to
Newgrange, Knowth, and other captivating sites nestled in the enchanting Boyne Valley.
Immerse yourself in the rich history and mystique of these World Heritage sites, where ancient wonders come to life.
Newgrange and Knowth, both designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites, stand as testament
to the ingenuity of our ancestors. Dating back over 5,000 years, these Neolithic passage
tombs are older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Step inside the chambers
of Newgrange, where the winter solstice illuminates a narrow passage, casting an ethereal
light on the ancient carvings within. Explore Knowth, adorned with megalithic art, and
unravel the mysteries of a bygone era.
Visit the megalithic passage tombs at Newgrange and Knowth with the on-site guide.
These are UNESCO World Heritage sites so you will be joining others on the official tour.
Beyond the renowned Newgrange and Knowth, our private tour takes you on an intimate
exploration of lesser-known gems in the Boyne Valley.
Leave the logistics to us as you embark on a stress-free exploration of the Boyne Valley.
Our private tours ensure a personalized and comfortable experience from the moment
we pick you up at your accommodation to the time we drop you back.
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.