Brú na Bóinne – Newgrange and Knowth
Brú na Bóinne is a very busy site and visitors may experience delay during the Summer months. Individuals are advised to arrive early. The last tour of monuments is 1 hour 45mins before closing time of the centre and all groups of 15 or more must be pre-booked.
All admission to Newgrange and Knowth is through the Visitor Centre, there is no direct access to these monuments. Visitors are brought from the Visitor Centre to the monuments by shuttle bus.
To pre-book tickets online: please click here. (Please note that you can only book for tours which more than 36 hours in advance).
Tickets for individuals and small groups are sold on a first come first served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. Leaflet/Guide book: English, Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese.
ACCESS IS NOT GUARANTEED.
Photography / Video allowed: Yes, except inside the chamber at Newgrange. Permit required for commercial purposes, please contact the OPW.
Duration: 7 minutes.
Languages: English, Irish, French, German, Italian, Spanish.
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. In general, the art at Dowth is less impressive compared to Newgrange and Knowth.
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