Dowth Winter Sunsets
Anne-Marie Moroney has been observing winter sunsets at Dowth
1997. The photography above shows the evening sun enter and illuminate the
southern passage and chamber of the mound. From the beginning of October to
the end of February the sun sends its rays from the south-west into the
chamber. As the sun appears progressively lower in the sky towards the
winter solstice, the beam, entering the passage in the space between the
top of kerbstone K1 and under the lintel, travels first over the sill
stone, then enters the chamber and finally shines directly onto the stones
at the back of the chamber.
Image of the sun illuminating the chamber, photographed on January 11th 2003 by
Anne-Marie Moroney. The lines are a shadow of the bars in the entrance
gate. The stone to the front of the image is the sill stone at the entrance to the chamber.
Image of the sun illuminating the chamber, photographed on January 5th 2003 by
The beam of the sun is so strong that the whole chamber is
lit up . The sunlight is also reflected from stone C7 into a dark recess
on the southern side of the chamber where it illuminates decorated
Evergreen trees to the west of the mound at Dowth are literally a
growing problem, obstructing the sun beam into the passage and chamber.
Since 1997 when Anne-Marie Moroney began observing
winter sunsets at Dowth, the trees have become more obstructive each year.
This image photographed on December 11th 2003 shows the effect of the
Front of Dowth Kerbstone K51, photographed shortly after sunrise at 9:28am January 9th 2004
Back of Dowth Kerbstone K51, the sun illuminates the back by mid morning 10:27am - January 1st 2004
Anne-Marie Moroney gives an account of her observations in the book 'Dowth Winter Sunsets'.
Published in 1999 by Flax Mill Publications, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. ISBN 0953382230
Soft back book, 32 pages including 26 photographs.
Boyne Valley Private Day Tours
Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour:
Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice,
Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433