New Grange Before It Was “Restored”

“Late 19th century: This atmospheric shot of the passage tomb entrance shows a man emerging from its dark interior. It was taken by R. J. Welch sometime in the late 19th century and it shows an overgrown and partially disturbed mound. Although the roofbox, through which the winter solstice sun rays should pass, is completely blocked, its decorated stone lintel can still be partially discerned c. 1 m above the entrance passageway” (Irish Archaeology).

Before excavation and restoration (think “concrete wall”) began in the 1960s, the famous Irish Neolithic temple of New Grange  (older than the Pyramids!) looked quite different. The Irish Archaeology site offers sketches and photos from the 18th century forward.

2 thoughts on “New Grange Before It Was “Restored”

  1. Pitch313

    Ancient monuments and sites probably serve modern purposes more than ancient ones. If only to remind us that our human ancestors had different purposes than us. But, I’d say, also to remind us that not so long ago human purposes were different than ours.

    For instance, I like to think that sites and monuments that my co-practitioners and I regard as enduringly sacred were, a few generations ago (about the time my great-grandparents were hot-clippering it out of the Auld Land for California’s promise) no better than bumpy meadows for the local’s cattle…and useful backgrounds for photo opps…

    Luv those pix!

  2. I wonder if there are more pictures from the 18th-19th century? These Internet pictures are not new. I do not like the concrete/rebar wall, but it is not a deal-breaker for me, because the snow quartz is interesting in itself. What if the mound is an inside-out planetarium? Each gleaming stone is a makeshift star once placed among makeshift constellations laid into the dome (on earth as it is in heaven), tossed or rolled down the side every quarter with the turn of the sky. (Not that I think this is necessarily true, but a bizarre answer over easy answer–i.e. wall versus walkway–could be true.)

    I love those pix too, but wish there were more. The lack of pix, I suppose, proves that the locals were indifferent.

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