Guardian Stone, Newgrange

Sí an Bhrú , Fairy Mound of the palace, Newgrange is the most impressive Stone age tomb in Europe.  It stands on a hill in the Boyne Valley. At 3000 BC it is older than Stonehenge in England, and older than the Egyptian pyramids.  It is part of a huge prehistoric cemetery known as Brugh na Bóinne.  

Newgrange is a passage tomb, that is it  was made by digging a passage into a man-made mound with a burial chamber at the end.  The passages were lined with huge stones and the mound covered with earth, turf or stones.  Newgrange is 36ft high and about 300ft across and is pear-shaped.  The mound is surrounded by large engraved stones  97  in all, each about 8-10ft long and at the entrance, seen here, is an ornately carved 10 ton stone, The guardian stone.  
The surface of the mound has been refaced so that it now looks as it would have originally.  
It took 180,000 tons (182 million kg) of stones  and no cement or "sticking" material to build this passage grave.  

A ring of pillars once surrounded the mound but now only 12 of the original 35 are left.

Interestingly the sun only shines along the inner passage and into the inner chamber on only one day a year- at dawn on the winter solstice .  No one really knows why it was designed like this.  

Tours are available.

Entrance Passage, Newgrange

Stone Bowl, Newgrange

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