The Tri-Spiral design engraved on one of the stones inside the chamber of Newgrange is probably
the most famous Irish Megalithic symbol. It is often referred to as a Celtic design,
but it was carved at least 2500 years before the Celts reached Ireland.
At 12 inches in diameter the tri-spiral design is relatively small in size,
less than one-third the size of the tri-spiral design on the entrance stone.
Prof. Michael J. O’Kelly
who excavated and restored Newgrange between 1962 and 1975, referred to the
design as a Three-Spiral symbol. In his book
Newgrange - Archaeology, Art
, he states that there was a belief in the neighbourhood that the
rising sun, used to light up the three-spiral stone in the end recess of the
chamber. Since Newgrange faces southeast, Prof. O'Kelly decided to investigate
the Winter Solstice
Newgrange Chamber showing the famous Tri-Spiral engraving.
Newgrange by the Photographic Unit of the Dept. of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
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.