04 Apr Newgrange, County Meath
The most impressive Stone Age tomb in Europe stands on a hill above the Boyne’s fertile valley, part of a huge prehistoric cemetery known as Burgh na Boinne. It is older than Stonehenge, and even older than the Egyptian Pyramids. A pear-shaped mound, Newgrange reaches 36t high and about 300ft across, and is surrounded t its base by large stones engraved with geometric patterns. The entrance to the tomb is marked by an ornately carved, 10-ton stone. The semi-circular courtyard, faced with granite, has been reshaped to accommodate the flow of people.
A mile away from Newgrange lie the dramatic passage-tombs of Dowth to the north-east and Knowth to the north-west. With two burial chambers set back to back, and with 17 satellite graves, Knowth is more complex than Newgrange, although Dowth is larger. Knowth is under excavation, and Dowth is not open to the public.
Newgrange is a must see on your tours of Ireland.