Newgrange Stone Age Passage Tomb

Newgrange is fascinating as you can go inside the passage tomb & have somewhat of a spiritual experience.

Things to do in - Newgrange Stone Age Passage Tomb

Newgrange, a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland's Ancient East

Newgrange is a fascinating site that inspires wonder and amazement. The winter solstice illuminates its incredible architecture, which testifies to the incredible talents of the ancient architects and astronomers. 

When you step inside Newgrange, you embark on a journey into the past and discover just how much our ancestors were capable of. The site’s distinctive features will take your breath away and leave you feeling humbled by the achievements of those who created it. 

Newgrange represents more than just a cornerstone of our past; it is a work of art that inspires us to dream and dare to achieve great things, even in the face of insurmountable challenges. Come and immerse yourself in the beauty and significance of Newgrange, and let it ignite your inner creativity and curiosity.


Tomb of Newgrange

Newgrange UNESCO World Heritage Site

This magnificent structure was constructed by a thriving farming community that resided in the fertile lands of the Boyne Valley. Initially regarded as a passage tomb, it is now acknowledged as an Ancient Temple, correlating to astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial significance, similar to the grandeur of contemporary cathedrals. 

The complex, positioned in a vast acre of land, is kidney-shaped, and boasts 97 kerbstones at its base, with some of it ornamented with megalithic art. The passage measures a length of 19m (62ft) and leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. 

The sheer effort that has gone into the creation of Newgrange demonstrates the remarkable organization of a society with specialized teams to oversee the various aspects of construction. Moreover, Brú na Bóinne, or the Palace of the Boyne, encompasses Knowth, Dowth, and 35 other smaller mounds.

Visitor Centre Opening Times : Opening Times

January 9:00 – 16:15

February 9:30 – 16:45

March 9:30 – 16:45

April 9:30 – 16:45

May 9:00 – 17:45

June 9:00 – 17:45

July 9:00 – 17:45

August 9:00 – 17:45

September 9:00 – 17:15

October 9:00 – 16:15

November 9:00 – 16:15

December 9:00 – 16:15

Click the ‘Book Online’ link for available tour times

Tomb of Newgrange

Newgrange was constructed approximately 5,200 years ago in 3,200 BC, during the period of Neolithic culture, predating both the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. 

The mound is circular and includes an array of stone passageways and chambers. Kerbstones encircle the mound, etched with intricate designs. 

Newgrange was originally classified as a passage tomb, but following new revelations is now considered an Ancient Temple of great astrological, spiritual, religious, and ceremonial importance. The chamber and passage are oriented with the morning sun during the winter solstice. 

Newgrange is among the principal monuments contained within Brú na Bóinne alongside Dowth and Knowth, both similar passage tomb mounds, and is a substantial component of the aforementioned UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Newgrange shares many characteristics with other Western European passage tombs, like Gavrinis in Brittany, Maeshowe in Orkney, and Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.


Knowth is a significant archaeological wonder located in the Boyne Valley and is part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes Newgrange and Dowth. 

As the most extensive passage tomb in the complex, its 1-hectare area accommodates a large 12-meter (40 ft) mound and 17 satellite tombs. The mound features two passages independent from one another, with the Eastern passage leading to a cruciform chamber placing three recesses and basin stones for cremated remains. 

The right-hand recess is larger than the others and has more intricate megalithic art, which is typical of Irish-shaped graves of this nature. The Western passage leads to an undifferentiated chamber that widens and is separated from the passage by a sillstone, featuring a basin stone that was later removed and is now located around two-thirds of the passageway. 

This 2500-2000 BCE structure stands as a marvel of early human architecture and provides remarkable insight into the spiritual practices and funerary customs of the time.

Boyne Valley and the highlights

Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley is a region that boasts a rich history and breath-taking landscape. With its stunning waterways, varied cuisine, outdoor pursuits and cultural treasures, it is a unique and captivating destination. The Boyne Valley offers visitors from near and far an amazing array of activities that are perfect for families. 

With Co Meath and south Co Louth encompassing the area, the Boyne Valley provides a great holiday experience for all. Take a journey back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne and witness tombs older than the pyramids. 

Discover the birthplace of Samhain on the Hill of Ward (Tlachtga), or visit the famous sites of Kells, Mellifont Abbey, Trim Visitor Centre, and the Battle of the Boyne Site.

Discover the megalithic monuments of Meath at Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth. Take time to explore Fourknocks, marvel at the high crosses of Monasterboice, and witness the grandeur of Trim Castle. 

Immerse yourself in the legends of the Hill of Tara and Hill of Slane, take a stroll through the grounds of Slane Castle, or visit the historic site of the Battle of the Boyne. With an array of incredible heritage sites, castles, and ancient ruins to choose from, the opportunity for exploration and adventure beckons.

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The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara holds a significant position in Irish history as it served as both the political and spiritual centre of Ireland from the time of the first Celtic influence until the Norman invasion in the 12th Century. 

This ancient site was the home of the Kings of Tara, who were revered as sacred and mythical figures representing the ideal of sacred kingship in Ireland. It is worth noting that many of the Kings of Tara were also High Kings of Ireland, which further added to their prestigious status.

At the summit of the hill lies the Iron Age Royal Enclosure known as Fort of the Kings, which is surrounded by two interconnected earthworks called Cormac’s House and the Royal Seat. At the center of the Royal Seat stands a monumental standing stone known as the Lia Fáil or the Stone of Destiny. This famous stone was where the High Kings of Ireland were crowned. 

Legend states that when the true King touched the stone, it would let out a screech that could be heard all over Ireland, further emphasizing the sacred and mythical status of the Kings of Tara.

The Battle of the Boyne

Oldbridge Estate/Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre

Battle of the Boyne

In the year 1690, an illustrious conflict arose between King James II, a Catholic monarch, and the Protestant ruler William III, who had previously removed James from his position as the English leader in 1688. 

William attained victory in this resounding battle, which took place at Oldbridge in the Boyne Valley. This marked a critical chapter in James’s efforts to reclaim the British crown, as it cemented Protestant control over Ireland.

This clash occurred on July 1st, 1690, by the Julian calendar’s calculation. However, in Northern Ireland, the Gregorian calendar’s adoption in the 18th century resulted in the celebration of this incident being held on July 12th.

William’s dominant forces overpowered James’s primarily inexperienced army of recruits. The symbolic significance of this battle has elevated it to become a well-known conflict in the history of Britain and Ireland, exerting a crucial influence on the folklore of the Orange Order. 

Today, its commemoration is mainly guided by the Protestant Orange Institution in Northern Ireland.

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Trim Castle


Trim Castle is considered the most prominent example of an Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland taking account of its size and the time of its construction which dates back to the 12th century. 

Built under the auspices of Hugh de Lacy pursuant to the grant of Liberty of Meath issued by King Henry II in 1172, this substantial fortress consists of a vast three-story Keep as its central stronghold, which began its construction in 1176 replacing an earlier wooden fortress on the same site. 

A significant feature of the castle is a twenty-sided, cruciform-style massive tower enclosed by a ditch, curtain wall, and a moat. 

The importance and grandeur of the castle were recognized by its selection as King John’s Castle in the famous historical drama ‘Braveheart’, directed and starred by Mel Gibson in 1995.

Monasterboice Monastic


St. Buite was a historical figure and an Irish monk. As per the legend, he accomplished the miraculous feat of raising King Nechtan Morbet of Pictland (Scotland) from the dead during his journey back from Rome in 480.

If you plan to visit Monasterboice, you will be able to witness the magnificent High Crosses, the remains of two churches, and the Round Tower. Despite the popular belief that round towers were initially built as refuges from Vikings, the Irish name ‘cloic theach,’ meaning bell house, suggests their secondary purpose might have been to serve as bell towers. 

Though the tower at Monasterboice was damaged in 1097, causing the loss of the monastic library and many other valuables, it is still in impeccable condition, albeit without its conical cap. It is recognized as the second tallest round tower in Ireland. 

While the Vikings occupied the area for a while, they were eventually defeated by Domhnall, the King of Tara, in 968. St. Buite’s monastery remained a significant center of learning and spirituality for centuries, until the nearby Mellifont Abbey was established in 1142. 

The South Cross (or Cross of Muiredach) and the West Cross (or Tall Cross) are two of the most magnificent High Crosses (or Celtic Crosses) in Ireland, dating back to the 10th century. 

These sandstone crosses are intricately carved, depicting stories inspired by the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Today, the High Crosses have become symbolic representations of early Christian Ireland.

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