Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newgrange in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland — Mid-East (and Dublin)
 

The Woodhenge/Pit circle / The Winter Soltice

 
 
The Woodhenge/Pit circle Marker image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
1. The Woodhenge/Pit circle Marker
Inscription.
The Woodhenge/Pit circle

If you were here 4000 years ago in the Early Bronze Age you would be standing inside a large wooden enclosure. The passage tomb was no longer in use at this time but the site was still a focal point for ritual and celebration.

Because the enclosure was made of wood, it hasn't survived above ground. However, evidence of it was found by archaeologists. They found postholes where the huge wooden stakes had been. They also found pits where small animals had been cremated and deep burial shafts where the burnt animal bones were buried. Archaeologists call the enclosure a Woodhenge or Pit Circle.

[In blue box] Five archaeological cuttings revealed the arc of the Woodhenge/Pit Circle

The Winter Soltice

The Winter Soltice Archaeological excavations at Newgrange have shown that the monument was built about 3200BC by Ireland's first farmers, the Neolithic people, who possessed remarkable expertise in engineering, art, architecture and astronomy.

The Research work of the late Professor O'Kelly of University College, Cork led to the reconstruction of the area surrounding the entrance to the tomb and one of his most spectacular discoveries - the illumination of the chamber by the rays of the mid-winter sun.


The
The Winter Soltice Marker image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
2. The Winter Soltice Marker
roof box

Over the entrance of the passage is a small opening known as the roof box. During the Winter Solstice, i.e. the shortest day of the year, around December 21st the light of the rising sun enters the chamber through this opening. The chamber is illuminated for 17 minutes from 8.58 a.m. (G.M.T.). In 1967 Professor O'Kelly was the first person in modern times to witness this event.

[Small box on marker]A burial at Newgrange c.3200BC. The cremated remains of the dead were placed in the basin stones within the recesses of the chamber.
 
Erected by Office of Public Works.
 
Location. 53° 41.664′ N, 6° 28.452′ W. Marker is in Newgrange, Leinster, in County Meath. Click for map. Markers are about 150 feet east of the entrance to the Newgrange passage tomb. Entrance to this World Heritage Site is by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre, about 1.5 miles west of the village of Donore.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Knowth / Cnogbha (approx. 1.4 kilometers away); Saint Patrick on the Hill of Slane (approx. 5.2 kilometers away); Slane Abbey (approx. 5.2 kilometers away); Duleek 1916 - 1981 Hunger Strike Monument
The Woodhenge/Pit circle / The Winter Soltice Markers image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
3. The Woodhenge/Pit circle / The Winter Soltice Markers
Newgrange passage tomb in background.
(approx. 5.3 kilometers away); St Mary's Abbey (approx. 5.7 kilometers away); Connell's House (approx. 5.7 kilometers away); Parochial House (approx. 5.8 kilometers away); The Lime Tree (approx. 5.8 kilometers away).
 
Also see . . .  Newgrange. (Submitted on September 17, 2009.)
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesLandmarksMan-Made FeaturesNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Woodhenge/Pit circle Representation on Marker image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
4. Woodhenge/Pit circle Representation on Marker
The Woodhenge/Pit circle Location image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
5. The Woodhenge/Pit circle Location
Upright posts show location of part of the circle. Looking east.
Newgrange Passage Tomb image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
6. Newgrange Passage Tomb
Looking northeast.
Entrance to Newgrange Passage Tomb image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
7. Entrance to Newgrange Passage Tomb
Carved Stone at Entrance to Newgrange Passage Tomb image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
8. Carved Stone at Entrance to Newgrange Passage Tomb
Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
9. Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) Valley Marker
Showing location of Newgrange and Knowth tomb complexes and red box showing visitor center location.
Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
10. Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) Valley Marker
Closeup of Newgrange and Knowth locations.
Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) View image. Click for full size.
April 7, 2009
11. Brú na Bóinne (Boyne River) View
From near Brú na Bóinne Visitor Center.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,671 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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