Newgrange is a Stone Age (Neolithic) monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland, and is the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East. It is part of a complex of monuments built along a bend of the River Boyne known collectively as Brú na Bóinne and was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands. Its age makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Newgrange is a large circular mound 85 meters (93 yards) in diameter and 13.5 meters (15 yards) high with a 19 meter (21 yard) stone passageway and chambers inside. The inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art.
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognized to be much more than that. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification – a place of astrological, spiritual, religious, and ceremonial importance – much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
There are two other principal monuments near Newgrange: Knowth (the largest) and Dowth. In addition to these, there are as many as 35 smaller mounds throughout the area.
Drag within the image below to explore ten different views of Newgrange in virtual reality, beginning at the inner recess of the tomb. An interactive map will appear when you click the button to enter full-screen mode. Click here for the tablet version.