The Disney-face of Neolithic Ireland. It would have been rude not to pop in, since we were in the area anyway…
Be prepared for disappointment, however. Whilst the organisation of the millions of visitors who come each year to this World Heritage Site is excellent, it does feel rushed and, most annoyingly, there is a “no photography” rule once inside. By the time the (excellent) guide has finished the tour and shooed you out (why were we the only three lingering?) the bus is about to arrive, so there is no time available to investigate the outside.
Talking of which…. don’t for one second be taken in by the “dubious claim” that passes for the reconstructed edifice. The guy that came up with this was obviously completely off his face on magic mushrooms for most of the dig…
The entrance does, however, look rather splendid… even if every ounce of your being is shouting out “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!”
The most famous of the Newgrange carvings appears on the kerb-stone immediately in front of the
abomination reconstructed interpretation of the entrance.
Don’t forget to look up! The lintel above the roof-box, through which the solstice sunrise fills the inner chamber with light, is quite different to anything else around the site, or anywhere else that we visited for that matter.
At this point we plunge into darkness. Literally and figuratively. “NO PICTURES PLEASE!”
Once inside, every glorious detail of the carvings, the construction, the layout, are clearly defined by the excellent lighting system, which is not too intrusive. A short demonstration of the winter solstice sunrise completes the tour.
The following pictures have been “borrowed” from around the net to give some idea of just how wonderful the internal experience actually is.
The corbelled ceiling seems incredibly high (at around 20-22 feet), compared to similar structures I’ve encountered.
The famous triple spiral. The image is captured from the central chamber, looking back down the narrow entrance passage.
The detailed carvings on the roof of the eastern recess.
And outside – the stunningly intricate kerbstone 52, which lies almost directly opposite the entrance.