The Story of Newgrange
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. Newgrange is a large circular mound 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high with a 19m (63ft) stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art.
It was overgrown with trees, and was discovered completely by accident when the local landowner removed a rock in 1699 that revealed the entrance into what was thought at first sight to be a cave.
The Winter Solstice at Newgrange is renowned worldwide. The passage tomb is illuminated by the rising sun on the Winter Solstice. From the 18th to the 23rd of December each year a narrow beam of golden sunlight penetrates and illuminates the ancient tomb. This is a spectacular event and often spiritual experience for those lucky enough to bear witness to this phenomenon.
At the entrance to Newgrange there is a large stone with a Triskele design engraved in the rock. This is the most famous Irish Megalithic symbol in the world. This design was carved at least 2500 years before the Celts reached Ireland. It is hard to even imagine people back then creating such inspiring artwork.
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