Thursday, April 26, 2007

County Meath, north of Dublin

It was a lovely, sunny day today in Ireland. I took a trip to the County Meath, north of Dublin, to visit the NewGrange passage tomb, a 3,400 year old neolithic tomb in the countryside. It was a great day, I learned lots about the history of Ireland, from the Celts to the Vikings to the Anglo-Normans, all very richly embodied in this sweet little county.

The NewGrange Passage Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archealogists believe it took anywhere from 5-50 years to build. It housed the ashes of only the most important leaders of those people living in Ireland at the time. It was discovered by a local farmer in 1699, and restored from 1962-75. Just above the entrance there is a roofbox that lets the sun in on the winter solstice, the only time the passageway and inner tomb would ever see any light. It's a testament to the builders, engineers, designers and workers that the roof has never leaked, so that the inner tomb hasn't seen water for 3,400 years.

A view of some grave markers around the tomb.

A building just below the main tomb. Notice the stone fence in the background.