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16 May

O'Kelly (who led the 1962–1975 excavation at the site), believed them to have some sort of symbolic purpose, because some of the carvings had been in places that would not have been visible, such as at the bottom of the orthostatic slabs below ground level.

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Newgrange is a popular tourist site and, according to the archaeologist Colin Renfrew, is "unhesitatingly regarded by the prehistorian as the great national monument of Ireland" and as one of the most important megalithic structures in Europe.

Its entrance is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice, when sunlight shines through a 'roofbox' and floods the inner chamber.

Several other passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with solstices and equinoxes, and Cairn G at Carrowkeel has a similar 'roofbox'. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is approximately three metres long and 1.2 metres high (10 ft long and 4 ft high), and about five tonnes in weight.

It has been described as "one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art." Various archaeologists have speculated as to the meanings of the designs, with some, such as George Coffey (in the 1890s), believing them to be purely decorative, whilst others, such as Michael J.