Knowth, Dowth, and Newgrange…Ireland’s greatest Neolithic Sites

I am once again headed to Ireland, this time with many members of my side of the “Collins” family.  In celebration of our upcoming trip and my impending blog silence I thought I would share some photos of one of my favorite places in Ireland.

Nowth, Dowth, and Newgrange.


Newgrange is an Irish Passage tomb dating back to 3,200 BC, arguably one of the most impressive Boyne Valley archaeological sites to visit in Ireland. The tomb and the giant mound protecting it have been reconstructed after it was dug up and put back together in the best way archaeologists knew how.  I would like to argue that perhaps it may have looked different way back when…but that is another story.  The outside is adorned with lovely stone brought all the way from the Wicklow Mountains.

The large stone protecting the tomb opening is spectacular second only to the opening itself which allows in a glorious glow of light on the winter solstice should the sun feel like coming out.  The ray of light illuminates the chamber and basin within.  The chamber was built around a giant capstone for it is too large to have been brought in afterwards.


Visitor’s are treated to a lovely visit at the Brú na Bóinne museum, a bus ride to the site, and a tour of the internal chamber.  Mind your head and I hope you aren’t afraid of the dark!  Tour guides turn out the lights to show just how dark and water tight the inside is and simulate the sunlight entering the chamber on the solstice.  Unless you win the lottery at the Brú na Bóinne visitor’s center this is the only way you will ever see the chamber lit from the outside!

As part of your tour you also get the benefit of visiting Nowth and Dowth, the smaller but no less interesting passage tombs.  They are smaller and more comfortable to explore on your own.  And the art is spectacular.  Make reservations ahead or get to the Brú na Bóinne Visitor’s Center early as this location is very popular with tour groups and visitor’s.

I am so looking forward to sharing this with my parents very soon.

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Nowth Macehead

16 thoughts on “Knowth, Dowth, and Newgrange…Ireland’s greatest Neolithic Sites

  1. Neolithic! Wow! I use to teach prehistoric humans to sixth graders for many years. You visited my site yesterday and liked three of my posts. I am in the process to moving to When the site is active, I hope you will visit me there too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These mounds are striking. I agree with you. I have yet to visit Ireland, and it’s this type of sight that would be highest on my list. Thanks for pointing out that reservations should be made. I imagine that is good advice for other popular sites as well, and I’ll definitely remember that for my future trip (whenever it may be).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Postcards from Ireland – Cutting the grass at Nowth, Ireland | Bulldog Travels

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