101 Fact about Newgrange
Irish Historical Mysteries
Brú na Bóinne Center
Newgrance is vaguely kidney cshaped -- the front entrance is set in a bit from the mound and faced with a pattern of white and gray stones (which were put back in place by one of the excavators, who believes that this is the original pattern (based on the pattern they madea s they fell off the front of the hillock). The stones are not local, and were probably found in WIcklow. Similar stones mark the entrance of Knowth, although at that site, they are laid out on the ground instead of stacked against the facade.
The main hill is over an acre in size (ruoghly 300' in diameter) and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones. It is the only noticeable hill on the site (there are a few smaller cyst burials, but no other man-made hills). The hill, made of layers of stone and earth, probably took twenty or more years to build.
The passage inside is about 60' long, and leads to a chamber with four niches, each containing a stone bowl and decorated walls. THs tomb is probably best known for the spectacular light show that occurs on the Winder Solstice, when light travels through the roof box over the entrance and lights the chamber for 17 minutes. (If you want to see it, you have to join a lottery -- over 27,000 people tried in 2005). The alignment is original -- although the solstice has moved slightly due to the passage of time, it is clear that the original builders planned for the sun to come in on that specific day.
The innter chamber is corbelled and rises almost 20' high. It has remained proof against the rain for four millenia -- altuough recent renovations have apparently caused some leaks.
lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson