A passage or chamber covered by a large mound or cairn of small rounded stones.
Irelands earliest examples of human artwork .
Late Stone age
Passage Graves The most impressive remains of the late Stone Age are the deep and mysterious stone passage graves. Set into the ground above the river Boyne in a loop as it meanders on its final stretch across the plains of Co. Meath are the finest of these graves, Newgrange and its two satellites, Knowth and Dowth.
It is almost certain that these patterns have an astronomical connection, but they may also have had a religious meaning or may have been a form of primitive calendar. Knowth
Newgrange Within these graves we find Ireland’s earliest examples of human artwork in the form of ornamented stones.
Here we find evidence of a highly organised society which used concentric whirls, circles and abstract repeating patterns, the meaning of which we can only speculate about. The roof Box may have been a form of primitive calendar.
The mound covers a passage which leads to a crucifix shaped chamber.
The chamber is 24 metres high.
22 standing stones on the left 21 standing stones on the right side The Passage at Newgrange is 19 metres long Narrow stream of light shines directly through roof box along passage.
The famous Triple Spiral on the end recess of the chamber The wonderfully decorated ceiling in the east recess of the chamber Many of these stones are decorated The spirals on the stone of the west recess
The outer edges of the corbels are sloped downwards so that rain water drains off and onto the cairn. This method is shown to be effective in that the passage and chamber at Newgrange remain dry to this day.
Corbelled stones in the roof Details of patterns found on the corbel stones in the roof of the chamber