Knowth Neolithic Passage Tomb
Access to Knowth
, another Neolithic passage tomb a short hop away from Newgrange, was restricted until October 2019, so relatively speaking, not many people have been inside. Visits are now possible through the Visitor Centre tour.
Similar in size to Newgrange, but with two passages and one central chamber, it is thought Knowth may have been used to bury a small number of priests who were significant figures at the time. Lavishly decorated kerbstones mark the entrance, and the main burial mound is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds, so there’s plenty to explore here.
Less talked about than its winter-focussed cousin, Knowth’s striking tunnel alignments seem to coincide with sunrise and sunset at the spring and autumn equinoxes. Just like Newgrange, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit as the extraordinary prehistoric feat of architecture and engineering is the main attraction.
Dowth Passage Tomb
A third, smaller passage tomb, Dowth
completes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. It has two burial chambers and a ritual basin. Prehistoric drawings and an early Christian souterrain escape route complete the site, which is known as the ‘fairy mound of darkness’.
The mound was damaged during an excavation in 1847, so the tomb is inaccessible, but you can soak up a real spiritual connection to this ancient site as you ramble around this usually peaceful place. Dowth is not part of the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, so you can drive right up to it before or after your visit to the larger site.
With so much to see and explore in ancient Meath, Brú na Bóinne is an exciting place to start.
After you go back in time in Meath, start planning your future trips as you imagine how you'll keep exploring Ireland's Ancient East. Fancy heading further afield? Find out more about how to Keep Discovering other regions of our amazing island...