Newgrange Winter Solstice Photographs by Alan Betson

Alan Betson photographed the Winter Solstice at Newgrange for The Irish Times newspaper for over many years. Alan created a selection of his best Winter Solstice photographs which were available to purchase at The Irish Times online shop.

Alan Betson's Winter Solstice photos are not currently availalble to purchase at The Irish Times

Winter Solstice - Alan Betson

Winter Solstice Dawn at Newgrange, Co. Meath, Ireland

Newgrange Winter Solstice Archive

Newgrange Roof-box : Winter Solstice Sunbeam

Newgrange Winter Sun Alignment

In the Boyne Valley within Ireland's Ancient East, stands the mysterious monument of Newgrange. This Neolithic passage tomb holds a secret that comes to life around mid winter. As the world embraces the longest nights and shortest days of the year around the winter solstice, Newgrange becomes a celestial spectacle, drawing seekers of wonder and history alike.

Newgrange, built over 5,000 years ago, is no ordinary tomb. Its architects were early astronomers, their minds attuned to the rhythms of the cosmos. The key to this ancient marvel lies in the meticulously aligned entrance and a passage leading to a central chamber. On the mornings around the winter solstice, a phenomenon occurs that connects the living with the celestial.

As the sun rises on these special days, its rays align with the entrance of Newgrange. A narrow beam of light penetrates the darkness, gradually filling the passage and central chamber with a warm, golden glow. This brief but magical event lasts for a mere 17 minutes.

The winter solstice holds profound cultural and spiritual significance across civilizations, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. For the ancient builders of Newgrange, this celestial alignment likely played a crucial role in their rituals and ceremonies, marking a connection between the earthly and the divine.

Boyne Valley Private Day Tour

Boyne Valley Tours
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours. Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire. Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland. Book Now