Saturday, December 18, 2010

An interesting meeting at Newgrange

I had to go to Newgrange, a 5,200-year-old Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley near Drogheda, early this morning to take photos of the sunrise during this six-day solstice period. I left Drogheda at 7am and called through the Dundalk Repeater to be greeted by Mickey 2I0MMT in Newry who kept me company for the journey. Shortly we were joined by EI6GHB John and EI7GEB David who were both mobile and it pretty soon transpired that they too were heading to Newgrange.

John EI6GHB and David EI7GEB at Newgrange for the EI0Z activation.
With the roads in hazardous condition after a snowfall, needless to say we were all taking our time but I wondered if it was just the early hour or had I heard correctly - THREE hams heading to Newgrange? Turns out that while I was heading there to take photos the other two were part of the EI0Z portable group and were heading there to activate Newgrange on the HF bands.

And so I get to write about two of my passions - ancient Ireland and ham radio -  in the same blog post! It was a beautiful morning at Newgrange, despite the snow on the ground. The cloudy start lifted and the sun shone into the chamber of the monument for a number of minutes and all who were in there were delighted that they had seen the annual solstice illumination. The passage and chamber of Newgrange are built so that the light from the sun at sunrise at the time of the Winter Solstice shine into the chamber interior. Given that Newgrange was built 5,200 years ago, it is truly remarkable that it continues to function today. Read more about this and all the other monuments and myths of Ireland on my website

I stopped to have a chat with the two guys before leaving Newgrange and asked them to get into a photo just for the record, and they kindly obliged. John reported that the bands were quiet but they were hoping that things would liven up a bit. Hopefully they did. Congratulations and best wishes to the EI0Z group who have so far completed a number of activations, including Slane Castle and the Loughcrew Cairns for autumn equinox.


  1. Hello Anthony, I discovered your blog, very nice. You write your blog with a enthusiastic passion. Keep up the good work, I put you on my blogroll, OK? 73 Paul

  2. Paul, you are welcome. Yes I'd love you to add it to your blogroll. Hope you have a happy Winter Solstice and Christmas season!

  3. Cairns at Loughcrew are something else, well worth visiting, went there during the year and will re-visit them as soon as possible, nice to see that you met EI6GHB and EI7GEB en route to Newgrange
    If the weather holds out im heading to Knockroe passage tomb or Drombeg stone circle for the solstice alignment at sunset

  4. Anthony,
    Thanks for another great post!
    Thanks also for the photo - one the best of the morning (in radio terms)
    It was a great morning and awesome to meet up on VHF all enroute to newgrange. Think Mickey was happy with company!
    keep up the great blog (one of the best)
    David (ei7geb)


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