Newgrange is a prehistoric monument located in County Meath, Ireland. It is part of the Brú na Bóinne complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site that also includes the monuments of Knowth and Dowth. Newgrange is a passage tomb that dates back to the Neolithic period, built around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.


Newgrange includes

Passage Tomb: Newgrange is primarily known as a passage tomb, characterized by a long passage leading to a central chamber. The tomb is circular in shape and is made of large stones, some of which are decorated with intricate carvings.

Alignment with Solstice: One of the most fascinating aspects of Newgrange is its alignment with the winter solstice. On the shortest days of the year, around December 21st, a phenomenon occurs where sunlight penetrates the passage and illuminates the inner chamber. This suggests that Newgrange had some ritual or astronomical significance related to the solar calendar.

Megalithic Art: The stones at Newgrange and other passage tombs in the Brú na Bóinne complex feature intricate megalithic art, including spirals, lozenges, and other geometric patterns. These carvings are believed to have symbolic and ritualistic meanings.

Cairn and Corbelled Roof: The tomb is covered by a large cairn (mound of stones) that helps protect the structure. The inner chamber has a corbelled roof, a construction technique where stones are stacked in a staggered pattern, gradually overlapping to create a dome-like structure.



Winter Solstice

Newgrange winter solstice

Newgrange is famous for its alignment with the winter solstice, a phenomenon that occurs annually around December 21st. During the winter solstice, which is the shortest day and longest night of the year, a unique event takes place at Newgrange.

The passage and chamber of Newgrange are designed in such a way that, during sunrise on the days around the winter solstice, a beam of sunlight penetrates the passage and illuminates the inner chamber. The sunlight specifically targets a stone basin, known as the "roof box," above the entrance to the passage. This phenomenon lasts for a brief period, typically about 17 minutes, and it creates a dramatic effect where the chamber is bathed in a warm, golden light.

The alignment of Newgrange with the winter solstice is considered a remarkable feat of Neolithic engineering and astronomy. It suggests that the builders of Newgrange had a sophisticated understanding of the solar cycle and celestial events. The intentional design to capture the sunlight during the solstice also implies a symbolic or ritualistic significance, possibly related to the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

Access to the chamber during the solstice illumination is limited, and a lottery system is used to select a small number of visitors who can witness this event each year. The winter solstice alignment at Newgrange is a testament to the ancient people's connection to the cosmos and their ability to incorporate celestial events into the design and purpose of their monuments.


Visitor Centre

The Newgrange Visitor Centre is an essential facility for those visiting the Newgrange passage tomb in County Meath, Ireland.

The visitor center provides information, exhibits, and services to enhance the overall experience for visitors to the Brú na Bóinne complex, which includes Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth.

Key features and services of the Newgrange Visitor Centre
Newgrange Visitor Services

Visitor Services

The center offers practical information such as maps, guides, and other resources to help visitors navigate the Brú na Bóinne complex. It may also provide information on guided tours, accessibility, and facilities.

Newgrange Tickets and Bookings

Tickets and Bookings

Visitors can purchase tickets for access to Newgrange and other sites within the Brú na Bóinne complex at the visitor center. It is also common for the center to facilitate bookings for guided tours, including those that focus on the winter solstice alignment.

Newgrange Information and Exhibits

Information and Exhibits

The visitor center typically contains displays and exhibits about the archaeological and historical significance of Newgrange and the other nearby monuments. Visitors can learn about the Neolithic people, the construction of the passage tomb, and the astronomical alignments.

Newgrange Café and Gift Shop

Café and Gift Shop

Many visitor centers have a café and a gift shop where visitors can grab a snack, enjoy a meal, or purchase souvenirs related to the archaeological site.

Newgrange Educational Programs

Educational Programs

Some visitor centers organize educational programs, workshops, or events related to archaeology, history, and the Neolithic period.

Newgrange tomb


Newgrange is located in County Meath, Ireland, and is part of the Brú na Bóinne complex. The address for the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, which serves as the starting point for visits to Newgrange, is:
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, Donore, County Meath, A92 EH5C, Ireland


By Car:

  1. From Dublin: Take the M1 northbound towards Belfast.
  2. Exit the M1 at Junction 9, signposted for Drogheda North and Drogheda South.
  3. Follow signs for Drogheda North.
  4. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto the R168 (signposted for Donore).
  5. Continue on the R168 for about 8 kilometers until you reach the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre on your left.
Newgrange monument
Newgrange tomb
Newgrange stone

By Public Transport:

  1. There are buses that run from Dublin to Drogheda. From Drogheda, you can take a local bus or taxi to Newgrange. Check with the local transportation providers for the most up-to-date schedules and routes.

Once you arrive at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, you'll find information about guided tours, ticketing, and transportation to the monuments, including Newgrange.

Remember to check for any updated information or changes, especially regarding opening hours or access, before planning your visit. It's also a good idea to use an updated map or navigation system for real-time directions.



Newgrange, being a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, is a rich resource for those interested in archaeology, history, and ancient cultures. Here are some resources that can provide more information about Newgrange.

Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre: Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth

The World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne is Ireland's richest archaeological landscape and is situated within a bend in the River Boyne. Visit Heritage Ireland to learn more.

Visit heritageireland.ie

Newgrange, a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley

Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre. A passage measuring 19m (62ft) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. Read more on Newgrange - World Heritage Site.

Visit newgrange.com

Brú na Bóinne - Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne

The three main prehistoric sites of the Brú na Bóinne Complex, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, are situated on the north bank of the River Boyne 50 km north of Dublin. This is Europe's largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art. The monuments there had social, economic, religious and funerary functions. Vist Unesco website for more information.

Visit unesco.org



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