Saints Journeys: Newgrange Stone Site

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Newgrange, one of the passage tombs of the Bru na Boinne complex in County Meath, was originally built between 3300 and 2900 B.C., making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and Stonehenge in England.

Passage tombs, usually dating to the Neolithic, are burial chambers reached along a distinct, and usually low, passageway. At Newgrange, the passageway extends one third of the length of the mound (some 60 feet), leading to a cruciform chamber. Inside the chamber are large stone basins, which held cremated remains. It is speculated that the sun formed an important part of the religious beliefs of the New Stone Age people who built it. On the Winter Solstice, the light of the rising sun enters the roofbox at Newgrange and penetrates the passage, shining onto the floor of the inner chamber. The sunbeam illuminates the chamber of Newgrange for just 17 minutes. Formerly the mound was encircled by an outer ring of immense standing stones, of which there are twelve of a possible 37 remaining. The standing stones are, however, from the Bronze Age, a later period.

.Newgrange is located in County Meath, Republic of Ireland near the village of Donore. Nearby Newgrange are the Knowth and Dowth passage tombs, also well worth visiting. From Dublin, Newgrange is 31.5 miles (50.7 km) away, which usually takes 44 minutes. Head north on the M1 until you see the sign for Newgrange and turn right for the village of Donore. After Donore, the entrance to the Bru na Boinne Complex is a short distance away.

After entering the complex site, park and sign up for the tour at the Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre. It is recommended that you take the tour that includes a visit to Knowth, which contains more than a third of the total number of examples of megalithic art in all Western Europe. There is a wide variety of motifs found at Knowth, from spirals, lozenges, and serpentiform to crescent shapes. Dowth is not included in the tour, but may be easily visited as it is not to far away.

Additional photos of Newgrange
Additional photos of Knowth
Additional photos of Dowth

Visitors Information

Visitors information on Newgrange may be found at the Bru na Boinne Complex website. General tourist information for the area may be found on the Discover County Meath website.


Please check local road conditions for possible changes prior to venturing forth on this journey. A helpful resource for changes and possible trip interruptions if you are travelling in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland is the AA-UK Route Planner. Another map source that this website uses and that may be useful to you on your journeys is Streetmap UK.

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