Dowth, which means ‘darkness’, is one of the 3 principle passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site (The other 2 being Newgrange and Knowth). It dates from c.2500 b.c and shares a solar alignment with neighbouring Newgrange during the winter solstice and is also surprisingly of a similar size measuring 90 metres in diameter and 15 metres high. It is still surrounded by granite kerbstones which originally would have been covered in quartz, some of of which are decorated with cup-marks, spirals and flower-like designs. The mound was unprofessionally excavated in 1847 which left a large sunken depression on it’s summit however two passage tombs were discovered on it’s western side and a 14 meter passage which ends in a cruciform chamber was found on the north side. Several of the orthostats (stones) in the chamber are decorated with spirals, chevrons, lozenges and circles. There is evidence to support that it was inhabited in the first few centuries a.d as a souterrain (underground storage area) was found on it’s western side. There is no public access into the passages and chambers but the site is free to explore and wonder.

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