This 5000 year old Newgrange Stone age neolithic Passage tomb near Dublin, Ireland, continues to be a mystery. It predates both Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. We do know that one of their purposes was for the spiritual passage of the dead but not much else. Newgrange (above) was structured so that the sun directly entered the main chamber only on the Winter Solstice.
The entrance stone and the structure were all done by hand—no metal tools—only stone on stone carving and physical brawn for moving the stones. These boulders were counterbalanced perfectly, obviously, having remained stable for 5000 years.
The Irish Stonehenge, County Meath, are tombs with upright stones, from 3200 years ago. After being plundered and with eventual deterioration, they were extensively restored.
The “passage tombs” were not limited to any one country but spread about and covering a a period over 5000 years..
The following was uncovered in Tuscany. This Vitulonia Etruscan passage tomb is dated about 5000 years ago and is included because of its similarity to Newgrange.
All done by hand, stone balanced on stone with a central corridor with burial rooms opening to the sides.
Late that night at our hotel by Newgrange, an incident occurred that restored my faith in the Irish. September is the month for weddings and our hotel was packed with pre-and-post attendees. About 2am there came a loud shouting from below our window. It continued for a bit and then I saw the most vocal man pound on a bus. And then quiet.
At 4am another disturbance erupted. Shortly another man beat on a curb-side cab. Then quiet. My husband started grumbling. I said “No!” (Being Irish) These are MY people and they settle disputes differently!
The next morning we were off to Trim Castle. Built in 1174, it is now notable for being used in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart film.
Because of the usual battles, It had to be rebuilt in 1224. The main outer wall was erected in 1250, and although tattered by many conflicts, is a most impressive fortification yet.
We walked around the luscious, green fields, watching the sheep as they trimmed the grass. Inside the castle walls, we were surprised to see safety measures –probably added both for Braveheart and tourists.
See the added picture of the staircase.
Onto Bunratty Castle which, being strategically located on the Shannon estuary near Limerick, and the Irish Sea, was constantly attacked.
Built around 1200, it was a ruin by 1950 when Lord Gort purchased and restored it to the original state. He spared no expense in the beautiful restoration. But he should have added an elevator. Six flights of Stairs!
Over time they added a” Folk Park”to the back, including a 15th village containing transported structures taken from area towns: weaver’s shop, laborer’s cottage, corn mill …..and thankfully, a Pub.