Prehistoric Newgrange Tomb
Newgrange is an ancient temple and passage tomb built over 5,000 years ago. It is also commonly known by its Gaelic name, Brú na Bóinne, meaning the 'palace' or 'mansion' of the River Boyne. The name encompasses three individual sites: Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. This ancient monument is older than the Great Pyramid at Giza and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The mound of Newgrange covers over an acre, making it an awe-inspiring sight as you approach from the south side of the River Boyne. The Megalithic complex is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its archaeological significance.
Visitor CentreA great starting point for discovering the site is at the village of Donore, where the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is located. The centre is sustainably built and designed to blend perfectly with its surroundings. Discover an exhibition as well as replicas of the chambers and tombs. In addition, artefacts and relics of times gone by that have been recovered onsite are on display, to help visitors imagine how life would have been during the Stone Age. It’s the starting point for guided tours of Newgrange and Knowth, and access is only permitted by guided tour. Knowledgeable guides will take you on an entertaining and informative archaeological journey through thousands of years of history.
Winter solsticeAs the sun rises on the shortest day of the year, known as the winter solstice, anyone inside the temple at Newgrange will see a shaft of light gradually penetrating through a purpose built opening in the roof. This light reaches the floor and extends along the main passage before hitting the back wall and illuminating the whole chamber.
Only a few people are allowed inside the tomb at this exciting time of year. There is a free annual lottery held each year to make choosing the lucky few as fair as possible.