Newgrange Winter Solstice Images
At the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the chamber
for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor. The sun enters the passage through a specially contrived opening,
known as a roofbox, directly above the main entrance.
The alignment is such that although the roofbox is above the passage entrance, the light hits the floor of the inner chamber.
Today the first light enters about four minutes after sunrise, but calculations based on the precession of the Earth show
that 5,000 years ago first light would have entered exactly at sunrise.
The solar alignment at Newgrange in Ireland is very precise compared to similar phenomena at other passage graves
such as Dowth or Maes Howe in the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Scotland.
Newgrange - World Heritage Site
is a 5,200 year
old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland's Ancient East
Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre.
The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun on the mornings around the Winter Solstice
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now
recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple
is a more fitting description, a place of spiritual, religious
and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige
and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.