Newgrange ( Irish: Sí at Bhrú ) refers to a large Neolithic grave mound in County Meath River Boyne. In type, it is a passage tomb (Eng. passage grave ) with a cruciform chamber and corbelled, which is not very common, but is also found on Anglesey and Orkney.

The name " Newgrange " derives from the fact that the environment in 1142 part of the lands of Mellifont Abbey was. Thus the designation "new grange " ( " new farmstead " ) was born. In Gaelic the area as Brú na Bóinne [ bru ː nə bo ː n ʲ ə ] " hostel / abode on (river) Boyne " or probably originally " abode of the ( goddess ) Bóinn " ) is called.


Newgrange is above a wide bend in the river in one of the most fertile and therefore intensively farmed areas in Ireland. The plant was built about 3150 BC. She is one of the world's most important megalithic sites. In the immediate vicinity are with Dowth and Knowth two other important megalithic sites, the temporal precursor seem to be. 1993, at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were declared a World Heritage Site.


Newgrange fell over the centuries, the grave mound eroded and was perceived as a natural hilltop. Trees grew on the property and the hill was used as pasture. 1699 discovered the landowner Charles Campbell 's grave accident when he was removing a pile of rocks. Edward Lhuyd from Oxford University, who traveled to Ireland at this time, made careful notes and drawings on the state in the year 1699th The next scientist who described Newgrange was Sir Thomas Molyneux, Physics Professor at the University of Dublin. He mentioned that two human skeletons were found on the floor of the tomb. Sir Thomas Pownall was the third scientist on site. Many later descriptions are mainly based on the reports of these three men.

1882, the Law on the protection of ancient monuments ( Ancient Monument Protection Act ) came into force, the Newgrange, Dowth and Knowth under the protection of the state. The competent authority dug in the late 19th century some of the decorated stones, but without carrying out a systematic study. Was published in 1911 by George Coffey 's book " New Grange and other Incised Tumuli in Ireland" a detailed archaeological description. Excavations took place in 1928 and 1956 on the outer ring of stones. In the 50s, flint tools and adzes were discovered in the area. Then the chief archaeologist of the Irish Tourism Authority planned ( Bord Failte ) systematic excavations.

This took place under the direction of Professor Michael J. O'Kelly from Trinity College Dublin in 1962. During this extensive remains an astronomical alignment of the input has been detected. Inside 1967, the remains of five people and a variety of grave goods were discovered. The mortar, which had been used in the interior to seal the roof, has been dated by radiocarbon dating to 3200 BC.


Michael O'Kelly also directed the reconstruction, which lasted until 1975. Effort has been made to give the visitor a realistic picture of the original plant. In addition, access for visitors should be allowed to the inside. Thus, the entrance was designed in 1972 by O'Kelly, and inside numerous concrete columns were installed.

In addition to these drastic interventions, the facade is a point of criticism. The present appearance is an interpretation of the findings of O'Kelly. Some critics argue that a retaining wall at this angle with the former technology would not have been possible. O'Kelly used reinforced concrete. The quartz stones that are built into the retaining wall, were found widely scattered. It is not known how they were originally placed. Professor George Eogan doubts the interpretation performed in Knowth the stones were left then on the ground.


The complex has a diameter of about 90 m. The hill consists mainly of stone and turf, bordered by a stone fixing ring which originally carried a three -meter-high granite wall and on the access side of white quartzite, in the opinion of the scientists. He was modeled accordingly after excavation.

A 22 m long tunnel under the hill ends in a cross-shaped grave chamber. She has an approximately seven meters high corbelled and after over 5000 years, is still waterproof. In one of the three niches of the chamber, a large ornate altar block (as in Knowth ) found with a shallow trough. On it were found burnt human bones. At about 13 days each year passes around the winter solstice at sunrise, a light beam through an opening above the entrance for about 15 min in the passage and the chamber. Because the Earth's axis oscillates in the course of thousands of years due to precession, the light effect is now weaker than at build time; the light beam does not reach the rear plate of the inner chamber, but ends about one meter before.

The next structural correspondence has this facility in its predecessor Knowth ( few hundred meters ). There are signs that formerly the entire system as was stood Knowth from an ornate stone ring; thereof only twelve stones are evident.


It is possible to visit Newgrange, access, however, is strictly regulated. So it is not possible to enter the Stone Age monument individually, you get only about 100 m closer to the fenced facility. Tours must be booked at the Visitor Center on the other side of the river, then you can enter with a guide the chamber.