Tag Archives: Newgrange

Winter Solstice 2016

The Winter Solstice has come and gone for 2016, but I wanted to share a photo of the famous Irish landmark: Newgrange during the winter solstice at dawn. newgrange-sunrise

Tickets for this special couple of days are selected by random lottery. I’ve never been lucky enough to get selected, and I’ve not been able to visit Ireland during the 3-4 days surrounding the winter solstice.

Some interesting facts about Newgrange: It was built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. The site consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and chambers. The mound has a retaining wall at the front, made mostly of white quartz cobblestones, and is ringed by engraved kerbstones. Many of the larger stones of Newgrange are covered in megalithic art. Its entrance is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice, when sunlight shines through a ‘roofbox’ and floods the inner chamber. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Newgrange plays a large role in my novel, The Keepers of Éire. After each murder, the killer places the human victim’s body propped against the Entrance Stone at Newgrange. Check out the Entrance Stone.20140722-183723-67043575.jpg

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Filed under 2014 Ireland /Scotland Trip, Ireland 2011, Writing

Titanic Experience, saying goodbye to Northern Ireland, and Bru na Boinne

Wow, what can I say about the Titanic Experience! Very moving. Of course, I like my friend and fellow critique mate, Marlene Dotterer’s version of the story in her SF/F Shipbuilder: The Time Travel Journals better as Thomas Andrews, the principle architect manages to implement more safety features, and he lives!

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Had beautiful, sunny skies leaving Northern Ireland.

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Then i was on my way to Bru na Bionne (also known as Newgrange and Knowth)- in The Keepers of Eire , my killer places the bodies of his victims at the Entrance Stone

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I lodged in Trim, near Trim Castle. Here is an artist’s rendering of the castle.

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July 22, 2014 · 10:45 am

May 12 to 14, 2011

As you guessed, I have been without Internet access for several days. Here’s a rundown.

May 12: I left Ballynahinch Lake and County Galway, passed through County Mayo and stopped in County Sligo. The setting for the fourth murder, Mary and her dragon, is here in Carrowmore-a bronze age cemetery. This is a cairn-the only one in the cemetary, inside is a dolmen.

The cemetary also has a stone circle. This is the location on Mary’s murder, within the circle, near the Whitethorn-or-Hawthorne tree.

Since Sligotown was hours away from County Meath and my final few locations, I decided to push onward and made it into Kells for the night. Yes, Kells, where the monks wrote the Book of Kells (currently on display in Trinity College, Dublin).

May 13: Today I toured Newgrange-where all my murder victims’ bodies have been placed. This site and Knowth and Dowth are along the River Boyne and are over 5000 years old. That’s 500 years older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt and 1000 years older than Stonehenge in Great Britain (which I will see next week).

Entrance Stone

I drove back north somewhat to Loughcrew Cairn. The general area here is another Tuatha Dragon Clan compound in the book. This cairn is at the top of a hill (don’t know the height, but it’s quite a hike) overlooking many valleys with farms and forests.

Cairn at Loughcrew, County Meath

May 14: Today is my last day touring with the car. I toured the Hill of Tara, the legendary seat of Irish Kings. In ‘The Keepers of Eire’, the Tuatha Dragon Clan celebrate Beltaine here and hopefully the partnering of Devan and Christian with their respective dragons. But will the ceremony proceed, or will the murderer be victorious?

The Stone of Destiny is prominately featured on the mound next to the Mound of the Hostages. On a clear day (which I did not have) you can see more than half of Ireland from atop the Mound of the Hostages.

Back into Dublin and I finally got to tour the Guinness Storehouse (remember on 4 May I tried, but was thwarted due to a bomb threat). The tour was interesting and I sat with my pint in the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. There guests have a 360 degree view of Dublin. This view shows maybe 1/10 of the room.

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Filed under Ireland 2011