This mound is now reduced to about half its original size, due to generations
Together with Newgrange and Knowth, this
mound forms part of the huge passage-tomb cemetery beside the lower stretches of the Boyne. The mound, lying about 2.8km (1-3/4mi) NE of Newgrange, has a diameter of 85m (280ft) and is 14m (47ft)
This site has suffered generations of abuse, more
than half the original mound is gone, the stone having been taken for road-making and building
materials. The Annals of Tighernach tell of Dowth being plundered and burnt in 1059,
with a record in the Annals of the Four Masters of three great early battles at Dowth, and a
later burning in 1170. In the last century, a house was built on the summit of the mound.
There are two prehistoric tombs in the western part of the mound, dating from about 3000 BC. One
of the tombs, just inside the kerb of the mound, has a single side chamber opening off a
large circular chamber with decorations on some of the stones. The main tomb passage is 8.2m (27ft)
long, made of uprights supporting the roof lintels and divided by three sill-stones, one inscribed
in a similar way to those at Newgrange. The passage leads to
a 6.5m (21.3ft) cruciform chamber with more decorated stones and a large stone ritual basin in the middle.
A further series of small chambers lead off an opening in the south-westerly corner of the
main chamber. These tombs occupy such a small part of the whole mound that one might well
ask if further tombs still remain to be discovered within it.
There is a 21.3m (70ft) long Early Christian souterrain which crosses to left and right of the main
entrance, leading to a series of chambers with a beehive chamber at either end. This souterrain
was probably originally constructed in the 1st millennium BC, when the mound was adapted as
the base for a fortress.Further to the south of the first passage-tomb is a second one, approached by a short
passage which leads to a circular chamber with one recess off to the right.