Newgrange — Bru’ na Boinne

The day’s destination was the town of Armagh in Northern Ireland, with a side trip to the Valley of the Boinne, specifically Newgrange at Bru Na Boinne. Bru Na Boinne — which means “dwelling place of the Boyne” — consists of two 5,000 year old passage tombs: Newgrange and Knowth. We were visiting Newgrange since it’s the one that allows visitors inside.

This ancient rock tomb was built in 3200 B.C., making it 600 years older than Egypt’s ancient pyramids and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge!

Archaeologists estimate its construction would have taken 300 people working for 20 years. Newgrange was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO — after a visit there, I can understand why.

We had no trouble finding it as the signage was surprisingly good, even though it felt like we were far from civilization. Once off the main highway, the roads were quite narrow; fields stretched out on either side, the green carpets of Ireland. It was gorgeous.

Through a light drizzle, we walked from the car park down a path to the Visitors Centre where we bought tickets, then another short walk along a path that traversed a green field to a waiting bus. Taking care to board the one marked Newgrange instead of Knowth, we peered out at the passing scenery scattered with rocks.

Before long, we could see the archaeological site loom into view, a short distance up a gradual hill.

Newgrange passage tomb -- built in 3200 B.C.

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