Newgrange is Ireland’s most famous prehistoric monument which was built by a community of farmers and astronomers around 5,200 years ago. It was constructed around 3200 BC. This means it is at least 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge.
It is a type of monument known to archaeologists as a passage-grave or passage-tomb that has the remains of people from that era. It sits on the top of an elongated ridge within a large bend in the Boyne River. This monument was rediscovered in 1699.
Quick Facts: –
- Newgrange reaches 12 meters in height and has a diameter of around 80 meters.
- The main structure is centered on a large kidney shaped mound covering 4,500 square meters of ground.
- This mound is constructed with alternating layers of stone and earth.
- It is surrounded by 97 large stones standing at the bottom, also known as kerbstones. They are engraved with megalithic art.
- Apart from 97 kerb stones, there are 12 standing stones surrounding the mound, which are a later addition to the site.
- It has been designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993.
- On average every year approximately 200,000 people visit.
- The passage and inner chamber of the Newgrange are aligned with the Winter Solstice.
- It is estimated that the construction of the structure would have taken 20 to 30 years with a workforce of 300.
- In Irish mythology, this structure was said to be the home of Oenghus. He is the god of love.