From Clogherhead to Newgrange

I took this shot out at the cliffs at Clogherhead during the week .   The stone here is called Greywacke and this is where the kerbstones from Newgrange came from.   There are 97 large greywacke kerbstones at Newgrange, each weighing an average of 3 tonnes.   On a rough estimate at least 200 slabs were required for structurally prominent positions.

Transporting these large stones would have been a precarious venture in the Stone Age.      They tied the stones to the underside of barges and floated them on high tide and then sailed down the coast and up the Boyne.    At least 200  dangerous journeys were required up and down the coast and then along the river channel , which itself is peppered with danger spots.

Further to the dangers of being lashed about mercilessly by the waves of the Irish Sea, followed by the very precocious navigation of the Boyne which would have been necessary to bring each stone towards Bru na Boinne, they then had the challenge of hauling the stones from the river bank up to the site at Newgrange, a distance of 1km up an incline of about 60 metres.   A reconstruction of the effort at the nearby Bru Na Boinne Visitor Centre appears to show a large boulder being hauled up a steep incline on some sort of wooden sled.  The cargo is pulled by as many as 50 men using ropes , and moves along on wooden rollers.

When we scrutinise the possible nature of the transportation involved , we begin to appreciate not just the regional scale of the project but also the amazing feat of such a primitive community in Stone Age times managing such a sophisticated logistical operation.

With huge thanks to my friend Anthony Murphy for all the above info from his book                  “Newgrange : Monument to Immortality”     & for reminding me of the link between the Greywacke stone at Clogherhead & Newgrange when I posted this image on Facebook 2 days ago. …   !!!  🙂

Anthony  is a fellow Boynesider and is a gifted writer, journalist and photographer.   Anthony has studied the astronomy, archaeology and mythology of the Boyne Valley site of 15 years and he makes regular appearances on TV documentaries and radio programs about the Boyne Valley

His Mythical Ireland  website is one of Ireland’s most frequently visited .

Mythical Ireland Facebook Page 




2 Replies to “From Clogherhead to Newgrange”

  1. I see your getting the hang of it Eimhear, it’s looking good! And the FB shares are going fine as well!

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