Ireland Travel: Train Car Airplane Information: History & Culture Travel Club Cell Phone  
 
    Pre-Historic Ireland
Knowth, Passage Tomb
     
  About Me / This Site   What to Eat in Ireland       Explore the National Geographic Store
Bus Tours of Ireland Keeping in touch
Am I Speaking English? Shopping
 
  Planning: Hotel / Bed and Breakfast FAQ Safe Travel Currency Weather Travelogues  
 
Visit my other Travel Guides - "Traveling In Spain" "Traveling In England"
 
 
Travels in Ireland Home
TOURING IRELAND
Dublin
Belfast
Ring of Kerry
Ring of Dingle
Heritage Parks
Kells - the high cross
Cork and Kerry
CASTLES:
Birr
Blarney
Bunratty
Carrickfergus
Donegal
Dublin
Dunluce
Johnstown
Kilkenny
Trim
IRELAND'S HOUSES:
Bantry
Muckross
Mount Stewart
GARDENS:
 
NATIONAL PARKS
 
PREHISTORIC IRELAND:
Drombeg Stone circle
Newgrange
Knowth
Clontygora Court grave
MONASTERIES / ABBEYS:
Quin Abbey
Jerpoint Abbey
Kylemore Abbey
Ireland Caves:
Dunmore Cave
FACTORY VISITS:
Waterford
Old Bushmills' Distillery
NORTHERN IRELAND
The Giant's Causeway
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
 
ALL CITIES LINKS
Ireland Map
Bibliography for Travels in Ireland

This Site best viewed at 800x600

Arriving at the Bru na Binne Visitor Center, we learn, in order to get to the Passage Tombs we have to take a shuttle bus. I was a little disappointed to discover the bus for Knowth was the next one leaving. In the guidebooks, the Newgrange site gets most of the press but to my surprise, the Knowh site became the highlight of this visit.
More pages on Passage Tombs:
Our visit to Newgrange
 
Outside Links on Knowth:
Wickipedia
Knowth

The Knowth mound is larger than the passage grave mound at Newgrange.

Why did I find the Knowth passage grave so impressive? For one thing the tomb sets in among a number of smaller tombs which really amplifies its size, making it a very impressive sight. Then there are all those kerbstones with their megalithic art (carved art on stones). The Knowth site contains more than a third of all the known megalithic art from the Neolithic period. Knowth is even more impressive when you realize it was build by stone age man. Lastly, I was very impressed by our well informed guide, he seemed very knowledgeable and genuinely interested in these marvelous structures.

The Knowth passage tomb is unique in having two passage graves, one on each side of the mound. It is suspected, but it cannot be proven (for reasons explained below) that the tunnels once lined up with the solar solstices


Entrance to one of two tunnels found at Knowth - unlike at the Newgrange Passage tomb, the white quartzite rock has been left in the position is was discovered.

One other unique aspects of the Knowth tomb, is for much of its existence there has been human activity near and directly on top of the mound. First to live near the site were the Mound builders themselves (3000 – 2000 BC), followed by the Beaker culture, the Celtics, the early Christians, and the Normans in succession. It was the tunneling and trenching of these later settlers that under cut the mound resulting in a wash out of the mound's edges. Due to this erosion, it is now impossible to determine positively if the two passage tunnels lined up (5000 years ago) with their perspective (winter, summer) solstice. After the 1200’s AD, human presence at the site disappeared leaving the mound to Nature.

 

 


Scattered about the Knowth site are a number of smaller mounds, some are located very close to the larger tomb.

Photo Above - close up of one of the large kerbstones circling the mound's base.
The Br na Binne area (is a UNESCO World Heritage site) incorporating the passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. From the Br na Binne Visitor center one can take a guided tour of Newgrange and Knowth.
More pages on Passage Tombs:
Newgrange
 
Outside Links:
Stones of Ireland
 

Around the base of the mound are a number of large often decorated stones. The decoration of the stone was done by the time consuming task of knocking a smaller rock against the larger rock, thus flaking away at the larger rock's surface. What is truly surprising is that along with the visable fronts, a number of these stones are decorated on their hidden back sides.

Note public access to the mound's tunnels is limit to a quick peek. You do not get to enter the interior chamber of the tomb but you do get to go in to a modern addtion to the mound that works like a mini-museum.

Go to the Newgrange passage grave top page

Go to the PREHISTORIC IRELAND page

 


Relationship Disclosure

Car Rental
Airflight booking

Visit my Travel Store
 
 
 

Copyright Notice - Privacy statement - Disclaimer - Disclosure - E-mail Jerrold - Mission & Principles

 
 

Most of the information on this website was gather during my family's July 2004 visit to Ireland.
This page last updated May 2008.