Knowth Megalithic Passage Tomb
The Great Mound at Knowth
The Great Mound was built over 5,000 years ago, probably after the construction of
and before the construction
. The Great Mound at Knowth is similar
in size to Newgrange and is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds.
The Great Mound has two passages with entrances on opposite sides, the western passage is 34 metres long and the
is 40 metre long, ending with a cruciform chamber.
of Knowth with the option to display larger images.
In this aerial view of Knowth the enclosure on top of the mound is a Medieval Grange, the waterway to the rear is the River
Knowth and the other megalithic sites of the Boyne Valley were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
in 1993. There is no direct access to the Knowth site,
access is by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne
Visitor Centre located close to the village of Donore
on the south bank of the river Boyne.
Guided Tours of Knowth are from beginning of March to the end of October, for exact dates and more
information see Visitor Centre.
and his team of Archaeologists began excavating the Great Mound
and the smaller surrounding mounds at Knowth in 1962,
five years later they discovered the first passage and chamber. Subsequent excavation revealed
a second passage and chamber and
a collection of decorated stones that comprises a quarter of Western European Neolithic art.
Secrets from the Grave
Irish Times article where George Eogan talks about uncovering 18 satellite tombs around the great mound at Knowth.
They also found evidence of pottery, houses and flint artefacts from a pre-passage-tomb stage of early Neolithic
settlement around 4000 BC.
from The Sacred Island
by Martin Byrne.
Engraved Knowth Kerbstone K15, possibly a sundial or lunar
calendar. Drawing by Martin Brennan superimposed using Photoshop by Martin Byrne.
Lunar Maps at Knowth
- the carvings on orthostat 47 at
the end of the chamber in the eastern passage
have been identified by Philip J. Stooke as lunar maps. The
right-hand section appears to be a map of the lunar maria. The remaining
two sections of the carving are simpler but crudely similar to the first,
sharing the overall arc shape of the maria surrounding the lunar central
highlands as well as an isolated spot representing Mare Crisium.
from Mythical Ireland
by Anthony Murphy.
- a kerbstone at Knowth which shows that the people who
constructed the great mound were well aware of what we call the 'Metonic
Cycle' of the moon.
5000-year-old stone device used to calculate the
lengths of the lunar tropical month, synodic month, and the length of the year.
There are 124 surviving Kerbstones
at the base of the
main mound at Knowth. The kerb is roughly circular and measures 80 metres (east-west) by 95 metres
(north-south). The Kerbstones are generally oblong in shape and average 2.5 metres in length.
Equinox sunrise/sunset alignment?
Summary of surveys undertaken by Frank Prendergast and Tom Ray to determine and interpret
the alignments of the western and eastern passage tombs at Knowth. The findings indicate
that contrary to earlier suggestions, the eastern passage and the western passage are not aligned
towards sunrise and sunset respectively at the equinoxes.
Knowth - A Virtual Tour by Bryn Coldrick.
Knowth by Jeffrey May from the magazine
Eastern Passage at Knowth.
The eastern passage
of the Great Mound at Knowth measures 40 metres,
making it the longest megalithic passage in Western Europe. At the end of the
passage is a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof
similar in style to Newgrange
Boyne Valley Private Day Tours
Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour:
Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice,
Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433