The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Passage Grave


We were luckier at Newgrange with our guide than we had been at Knowth. He was far more interested and interesting, even though he had such a short amount of time to "talk the talk".

I had been so thoroughly warned about the commercialism of this site that I turned up expecting to be disappointed; a great idea, as it turns out, because it was actually less Disneyfied than I had imagined and I had a great time!

We really didn't have enough time to walk around the outside of the site though and our photos felt rushed rather than thought out - I think we just pointed and clicked, hoping we could get it all in! That evening, when I read about the site I realised that we had missed loads of interesting stuff. Ah well, good excuse for a return visit.

At Loughcrew I felt quite emotional, seeing inside the passage and into the chamber. A similar thing happened here but it was the roof which took my breath away. I just kept staring up at it, unable to comprehend the incredible feat of engineering I was witnessing. I'm not sure about the facade of the tomb, whether the quartz was indeed used as a covering, although it seems as plausible as using gypsum to cover sites. I liked the idea of it being used as a ceremonial walkway though.

All in all, I was mightily impressed with Newgrange and I have to say that, if you have to have a visitor centre, then have one like this! It was very sympathetically designed and the interpretative centre was pretty good.

Just to echo others here; as we were leaving around 2pm, they were turning people away as all of the tours were fully booked. I would recommend you get there by lunchtime at the latest (oh and the food was great too....I now have a bottle of Bru Na Boinne springwater on my shelf with Newgrange on the label; great souvenir!!)
Vicster Posted by Vicster
27th August 2006ce

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