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Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
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12pointer
25 posts

Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 25, 2008, 17:49
Hi to all, im new, loving this site by the way.

After visiting Newgrange last weekend I was curious as to why the front wall is made up of quartz with regularly placed 'sea rolled granite'.
I know the wall was remade but the studies showed that this was the way it orignally looked.

I know quartz was very sacred to nearly all ancient cultures which is why they carted tons of the stuf hundreds of miles from Wiklow, and that it shone a nice golden colour in the sun light. The rest of the stones were all found locally, except the 'sea rolled granite'.

Does anyone have any theories as to why they included rounded granite stones into the wall? Was it just because granite is one of the hardest rock types or that it looked pritty?

Thanks
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 25, 2008, 18:06
12pointer wrote:
Hi to all, im new, loving this site by the way.

After visiting Newgrange last weekend I was curious as to why the front wall is made up of quartz with regularly placed 'sea rolled granite'.
I know the wall was remade but the studies showed that this was the way it orignally looked.

I know quartz was very sacred to nearly all ancient cultures which is why they carted tons of the stuf hundreds of miles from Wiklow, and that it shone a nice golden colour in the sun light. The rest of the stones were all found locally, except the 'sea rolled granite'.

Does anyone have any theories as to why they included rounded granite stones into the wall? Was it just because granite is one of the hardest rock types or that it looked pritty?

Thanks

It was a big leap of faith to build that facade , all they had to go on was a pile of rubble , W.P le Clerc is the bloke to blame", as inspector of National Monumnets it was his idea not O ' Kelly's the ,excavator . Pure Disney .
bawn79
bawn79
864 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 08:56
I know there is a lot of quartz lying around Knockroe in Kilkenny so if u look at the pics of that, that maybe is how they found the quartz in Newgrange. I dont think its unreasonable to suggest that the quartz would have been used as a facing, however it obviously wouldnt have been as tidy as the OPW scheme that restored it!


PS Welcome and good to have another Irish poster.
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 09:50
bawn79 wrote:
I know there is a lot of quartz lying around Knockroe in Kilkenny so if u look at the pics of that, that maybe is how they found the quartz in Newgrange. I dont think its unreasonable to suggest that the quartz would have been used as a facing, however it obviously wouldnt have been as tidy as the OPW scheme that restored it!


PS Welcome and good to have another Irish poster.


At the time of discovery it was considered that a quartz revetment would have been unstable . Quartz is often found in association with monuments e.g. kerb cairns sometimes as a pavement an Irish example is Carnagat in Tyrone .There are countless other examples from Argyll Perthshire , at Newgrange there was also a pile of deposited quartz to the right of the entrance this would not have been part of a wall due to it's shape plus there was a similar feature at Loughcrew .
12pointer
25 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 11:35
apparently the irish name for quartz "grianchloch" means sun-stone. so their aparent sun worship would explain the findings of 'sun-stones' at these sites. But how and why does quartz represent the sun? sun is power, quartz being the hardest thing known to the ancient peoples then maybe thats why the granite is there too, granite being the hardest rock to hand, both symbolise strength and power. or because they wanted thier monument to last forever...
PlateOfFood
PlateOfFood
141 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 12:09
Hello all. I was once told that the regular pattern in the new Newgrange facade was down to the architect who designed it - who I was told was Graham Dawbarn, who also designed BBC TV Center and gave that a similar pattern of white stones. It was just his 'thing'.

Now, I've never been able to find anything that proves to me that Graham Dawbarn was involved in recreating Newgrange, so maybe there's no truth to this story. I'd be interested if anyone knows one way or the other, though.
bawn79
bawn79
864 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 12:20
12pointer wrote:
apparently the irish name for quartz "grianchloch" means sun-stone. so their aparent sun worship would explain the findings of 'sun-stones' at these sites. But how and why does quartz represent the sun? sun is power, quartz being the hardest thing known to the ancient peoples then maybe thats why the granite is there too, granite being the hardest rock to hand, both symbolise strength and power. or because they wanted thier monument to last forever...


Could also be to do with its reflective properties. The two entrance stones at Castleruddery (which are quartz) are meant to shimmer a bit on summer solstice sun-rise (or thereabouts).
bawn79
bawn79
864 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 12:25
tiompan wrote:
bawn79 wrote:
I know there is a lot of quartz lying around Knockroe in Kilkenny so if u look at the pics of that, that maybe is how they found the quartz in Newgrange. I dont think its unreasonable to suggest that the quartz would have been used as a facing, however it obviously wouldnt have been as tidy as the OPW scheme that restored it!


PS Welcome and good to have another Irish poster.


At the time of discovery it was considered that a quartz revetment would have been unstable . Quartz is often found in association with monuments e.g. kerb cairns sometimes as a pavement an Irish example is Carnagat in Tyrone .There are countless other examples from Argyll Perthshire , at Newgrange there was also a pile of deposited quartz to the right of the entrance this would not have been part of a wall due to it's shape plus there was a similar feature at Loughcrew .


I didnt know that! So there is a good chance that in restoring Newgrange they could have put paving stones up as facing brick!
This is a pic I took of the quartz in Knockroe
http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/55568/images/knockroe.html
Its lying in front of the eastern chamber so perhaps it was a type of paving.
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 13:05
bawn79 wrote:


I didnt know that! So there is a good chance that in restoring Newgrange they could have put paving stones up as facing brick!
This is a pic I took of the quartz in Knockroe
http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/55568/images/knockroe.html
Its lying in front of the eastern chamber so perhaps it was a type of paving.


Ah didn't know about the Knockroe ,yet another one .Sometimes it is reffered to as paving but it could just be be ground cover , ther are cases of deposits in the quartz but I can't remember where . There is also the possible use of quartz at some rock art sites where it has been hammered into fissures .
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Newgrange: quartz and granite wall
Feb 26, 2008, 13:08
12pointer wrote:
apparently the irish name for quartz "grianchloch" means sun-stone. so their aparent sun worship would explain the findings of 'sun-stones' at these sites. But how and why does quartz represent the sun? sun is power, quartz being the hardest thing known to the ancient peoples then maybe thats why the granite is there too, granite being the hardest rock to hand, both symbolise strength and power. or because they wanted thier monument to last forever...


Yeah , that has always intrigued me , most cultures see quartz as being related to the moon , native australians refer to it as moon milk etc .
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