Knowth is part of the Newgrange complex at Bru na Boinne, on the banks of the River Boyne in County Meath. These grand monuments were constructed around 3200BC, which means that they are even older than the more famous sites of Stonehenge in England, and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
The central mound at Knowth was built over five thousand years ago, sometime after Newgrange itself was constructed, and before Dowth.
The main entrance to the great central mound at Knowth.
The central mound is about as large as Newgrange and contains two passages; the western passage is 34 metres in length, whilst the eastern passage is 40 metres long. It is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds.
Nearly half of all of Ireland’s engraved megalithic stones can be found in just this one site. 261 of Knowth’s stones are decorated with rock art. That amounts to 30% of Western Europe’s ancient rock art.
Two of the smaller satellite mounds which surround the main central mound at Knowth.
This image shows two of the smaller satellite mounds. Their entrances all face in towards the great central mound.
In Irish mythology, Knowth is known as Cnoc Buí, or the Hill of Buí. Buí is said to have been married to Lugh, a king of the Tuatha de Danann.
In my book, Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean, Conor breaks into the central mound at Knowth with Annalee and Professor Kilmore-Willows, in order to attempt to steal the Dagda’s cauldron from the eastern passage.
Inside the main central mound at Knowth.
Access to the interior of the mound is prohibited to the general public. However, tours from the Visitor Centre do allow access to the interior of the great mound at Newgrange.