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Older than Stonghenge and the Egyptian Pyramids, Newgrange in Co Meath is Ireland’s most famous passage tomb and dates from c. 3,200BC. Steeped in history, this huge mound was formerly a temple, a tomb and a monument and contains some of the most important carved art from the European Neolithic period.
Indeed, it’s a site of not only archaeological, but also astrological, ceremonial and spiritual significance and is just 45 minutes from Dúinn Designs HQ. Surrounded at its base by an impressive kerb of 97 stones, Newgrange also boasts a beautifully decorated entrance stone and is constructed from heavy water‐rolled stones from the banks of the River Boyne.
Inside, Newgrange reveals a long passage and chamber, with a roof of overlapping rocky layers which, despite the passing of over 5,000 years, remains watertight. Basins were also discovered during the 1967 excavation, with the remains of five or more people uncovered within. Decorated with intricate and highly accomplished carvings, the interior of Newgrange also boasts a worldfamous tri‐spiral design
However, one of the most magical discoveries from 1967 was the realisation that Newgrange aligns with the rising sun on the morning of the winter solstice. On this, the shortest day of the year, the sun penetrates a small opening above the entrance, traveling the length of the long passage and illuminating the inside of the Newgrange chamber.
Newgrange also includes a religious centre called the Pit Circle, constructed around 2,000BC and comprising a large double circle of wooden posts. A circle of standing stones (the Stone Circle) also surrounds Newgrange on top of this Bronze Age Pit Circle, suggestive of a later astrological function for the site.