Brú na Bóinne – Newgrange and Knowth
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre has re-opened after its major refurbishment.
The new state of the art, immersive visitor experience focuses on the monuments of the World Heritage Site during the Neolithic period. It transports visitors back 5000 years to the pinnacle of passage tomb building when Brú na Bóinne contained some of the largest buildings in the world.
The exhibits explore the seasonal nature of Stone Age society, the significance of the solar cycle, ceremonies and the monument building process.
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the starting point for all visits to Newgrange and Knowth. Do not go directly to the monuments as you will not gain entry. Visitors are brought via shuttle bus to the monuments
At present only Newgrange is open, Knowth is closed for the winter.
On 1st March 2020 Knowth reopens and two new tour options are being introduced that include visiting both Newgrange and Knowth as standard.
1. Brú na Bóinne Tour – Outside Only: This is a visit to Knowth and Newgrange exterior only.
2. Brú na Bóinne Plus Newgrange Chamber Tour: This is a visit to Newgrange and Knowth which includes access to the chamber at Newgrange.
Groups: Groups of 15 or more must prebook one of our group time slots by emailing email@example.com for availability.
Individuals: Tickets for individuals or small groups of 14 or fewer people will be issued on a daily first come first served basis only and will not be available for pre-booking.
Newgrange (c 3,200 B.C.) is the best-known monument of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, predating the ancient pyramids by 400 years and Stonehenge by 1000. The passage tomb is surrounded by 97 kerb stones, the most impressive is the large entrance stone which is covered in swirls and designs. Inside the large mound there is a long passage leading into a chamber which branches off three ways. The corbelled roof inside the burial chamber it still watertight and supports an estimated 200,000 tonnes of cairn. The cremated remains of the dead were laid on large stone basins inside the chamber which usually were accompanied by grave goods.
At dawn on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year (December 21st), a shaft of sunlight enters the chamber of Newgrange through a specially designed opening over the doorway which illuminates the Chamber. On December 21st 1967, Professor MJ O'Kelly was the first person in modern times to see this now world famous event.
The passage tomb complex lies to the west of Newgrange. The large mound covers two passge tombs placed back to back which is surrounded by 127 massive kerbstones. Outside this large passage tomb there are eighteen small tombs.
Over three hundred decorated stones make up Knowth which represents the greatest concentration of Megalithic art in Western Europe. Recurring motifs on these stones include circles serpentine forms and spirals. One of the most impressive features of Knowth is the corbelled roof in the eastern tomb ascending to a massive height of almost 6m.
Dowth is the least well known of the other two although it compares in size. The mound is surrounded by a kerb of 115 stones and has two tombs facing westwards. On the 21st of December, the rays of the setting sun illuminate this passage and circular manner in manner similar to the winter solstice at Newgrange. At least thirty-eight of the stones at Dowth contain megalithic art, the circle meaning the most common motif used.
There is no access to the interior of the Dowth Mound, but visitors may still walk around the outside and admire the monument and views.
Listen to some wonderful audio on Brú na Boinne - part of the Boyne Valley Drive
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre,
Fax: +353 (0) 41 982 3071