Newgrange Ireland

Newgrange in summary

  • Newgrange was built over 5000 years ago, approximately 3200BC, by a Neolithic (Stone Age) farming community.
  • The man made mound is 85 metres in diameter and 13.5 metres high, an area of about 1 acre.
  • The main feature of Newgrange is a 19 metre passage which leads to a chamber with 3 alcoves, the passage and chamber form a cross shape.
  • The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun at the Winter Solstice.
  • Access to the chamber on the mornings around the winter solstice is by lottery.
  • The 12" Triple Spiral engraving in the chamber is the most recognizable symbol of Ancient Ireland.
  • The base of the mound is surrounded by 97 large stone called kerbstones.
  • Some of the kerbstones are engraved with megalithic art; the most striking is the entrance stone K1.
  • 12 standing stones from the remains of a circle that may have had 37 stones are still in existence.
  • Access to Newgrange is via the Visitors Centre on the south bank of the river Boyne.
  • The name Newgrange is relatively modern; it literally means New Grange. In the 12th century the area became part of the Mellifont Abbey farm. Outlying farms were known as granges, hence the name New Grange.
  • Brú na Bóinne is the original Irish name, meaning 'mansion by the Boyne'. Visitor access to Newgrange today is via the Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre.
  • The Celts didn't build Newgrange; it was built about 2500 years before the first Celt set foot in Ireland.
  • Newgrange entered Celtic Mythology as a fairy mound. Newgrange was the home of the god Dagda, his wife Boann and their son Aonghus the god of love.
  • Two other mounds of similar size were built in the Boyne Valley - Knowth and Dowth.
  • The entrance to Newgrange was re-discovered in 1699. The landowner at the time was removing stones for road building when the entrance was revealed.
  • Judging from the splendour and magnificence of the Newgrange monument it was most likely a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
  • There is little evidence that Newgrange was used as a burial tomb. Chris O'Callaghan in his book "Newgrange temple of Life" develops this theme.
  • The roof of the inner chamber is of corbelled construction, it hasn't leaked in 5000 years.
  • The reconstructed white quartz front wall is sometimes criticized as being overly modern in appearance.
  • There are a number of smaller mounds in the vicinity of the main mound.

  • Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Day Tours Dublin

Boyne Valley Tours

Boyne Valley Tours Private Tours by Limousine or Eight Seater Minivan. Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour: Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre and Newgrange, the 10th century high crosses at Monasterboice, the 13th century Laurence's Gate at Drogheda, the Hill of Tara, the 12th century Bective Abbey and Trim Castle the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland.   More ...
Boyne Valley Tours

Newgrange Articles

  • Newgrange - Older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge but Still Subject to Irish Weather.
  • Newgrange: Ireland's ancient answer to the pyramids - Laura Harrison McBride

Newgrange Aerial View
Aerial view of Newgrange

Contact Form

Form by