You have 3 trips in progress.   See all
Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Leinster  /  County Meath  /  Donore  /  Newgrange

Newgrange, Donore

4.4
#2 of 6 in Things to do in Donore
Monument · Historic Site
Create an itinerary including Newgrange
Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath in Ireland, located on a rise overlooking the River Boyne, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Drogheda. It is an exceptionally grand passage tomb built during the Neolithic Period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. It is aligned on the winter solstice sunrise. Newgrange is the main monument in the Brú na Bóinne complex, a World Heritage Site that also includes the passage tombs of Knowth and Dowth, as well as other henges, burial mounds and standing stones.
Newgrange consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and cruciform chamber. Burnt and unburnt human bones, and possible grave goods or votive offerings, were found in this chamber. The mound has a retaining wall at the front, made mostly of white quartz cobblestones, and it is ringed by engraved kerbstones. Many of the larger stones of Newgrange are covered in megalithic art. The mound is also ringed by a stone circle. Some of the material that makes up the monument came from as far as the Mournes and Wicklow Mountains. There is no agreement about its purpose, but it is believed it had religious significance. It is aligned so that the rising sun on the winter solstice shines through a 'roofbox' above the entrance and floods the inner chamber. Several other passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with solstices and equinoxes, and Cairn G at Carrowkeel has a similar 'roofbox'. Newgrange shares similarities with some other Neolithic monuments in Western Europe; especially Gavrinis in Brittany, which has a similar preserved facing and large carved stones, Maeshowe in Orkney, with its large corbelled chamber, and Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.

Its initial period of use lasted about 1,000 years. Newgrange then gradually became a ruin, although the area continued to be a site of ritual activity. It featured in Irish mythology and folklore, in which it is said to be a dwelling of the deities, particularly The Dagda and his son Aengus. Antiquarians first began its study in the seventeenth century, and archaeological excavations began in the twentieth century. Archaeologist Michael J. O'Kelly led the most extensive of these from 1962 to 1975 and also reconstructed the front of the monument, a reconstruction that is controversial and disputed. This included an inward-curving dark stone wall to ease visitor access. Newgrange is a popular tourist site and, according to archaeologist Colin Renfrew, is "unhesitatingly regarded by the prehistorian as the great national monument of Ireland" and as one of the most important megalithic structures in Europe.
Plan to visit Newgrange during your Donore vacation using our convenient Donore driving holiday planner.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Newgrange reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
996 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We visited Newgrange via the Bru na Boinne visitors center. Newgrange and Knowth were part of the tour. It was a very well restored site. 
    We visited Newgrange via the Bru na Boinne visitors center. Newgrange and Knowth were part of the tour. It was a very well restored site.  more »
  • Poor communication from site. We booked online and left early to get there. We knew we couldn’t go directly to the site but had to go to the visitor center. Mapquest took us to the historic site... 
    Poor communication from site. We booked online and left early to get there. We knew we couldn’t go directly to the site but had to go to the visitor center. Mapquest took us to the historic site...  more »
  • The history of the place is amazing, and there is still a lot of mystery about some of the artifacts left here. The countryside itself is beautiful and honestly the scenery alone made the trip worth....  more
    The history of the place is amazing, and there is still a lot of mystery about some of the artifacts left here. The countryside itself is beautiful and honestly the scenery alone made the trip worth....  more »
Google
  • The history and engineering of this amazing monument is truly a wonder! To think that my ancestors did something so amazing at a time before the pyramids is a mind blowing thought. To walk inside this place and experience the history was chilling. I was able to experience so much in Ireland, but nothing compared to being under that mound and feeling like I was transported back in time. This place is truly a work of art. I cannot wait to go back!!!
  • We are talking about a step back in time. To way before the pyramids. Before stonehenge. A truly "Astronomical" experience, both literally and figuratively. IF you are in Ireland I am gonna end with... this is a MUST.
  • Book place/tickets in advance. Must see. Brilliant. Picnic area is really worth planning to add in to this essential family Irish history day trip. Enjoy
  • The tours provided by the visitor centre are great. This is a must see if you are in Ireland and have interest in ancient history (over 5,200 years old) its mind blowing
  • The interpretive center is fine and informative, but the tomb itself and our guide were brilliant. Spiritual feeling of continuity through the centauries, our ancient ancestors were not so different from us.

Plan your trip to Donore

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.