N is for Newgrange #AtoZChallenge
I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April, using the theme of the UK & Ireland.
For N, I want to re-visit the oldest structure that I saw in either my 2012 trip to Ireland or my 2014 trip to England. Newgrange was built around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge. It consists of a mound with a, reconstructed, stone wall face and an opening. The opening leads to a chamber that is lit, from a roofbox above the entrance, by the sunrise on the winter solstice.
There’s some controversy about that reconstructed wall. Perhaps it was never a wall but a plaza in front of the mound.
In Irish mythology, Newgrange was occupied by deities, particularly the Dagda, a father-figure god associated with agriculture, strength, and wisdom.
What’s not controversial is the beauty of some of the carvings at this site. I was particularly taken with the spirals on the entrance stone.
What is the oldest structure you’ve visited in the world?
From your write-up I think I saw a documentary a few years ago about the same place, if it’s on or very near the coast. It must be wonderful to visit there for real. I was going to answer your question with a ruined amphitheatre in Lyon, France that I visited on a holiday with school when I was eleven or twelve, a long time ago now. Then I thought to check the age of Arthur’s Stone in Gower, Wales and that’s said to be over 6,000 years old – although perhaps not a man-made structure but a naturally occurring one.