The Viking raid on Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne
Irish History From The Annals




In 861 the Vikings carried out a raid on Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne.

In an early reference to Brú na Bóinne the Annals of the Four Masters record that in 861 the Vikings carried out a raid into Brú na Bóinne in Co. Meath where they broke into and plundered the caves of Achadh Aldai, Cnoghbha, Bodan over Dubhath and Gobhann at Dorchat Atha. Cnoghbha is clearly a reference to the passage Tomb at Knowth. Dubhath is Dowth and Achadh Aldai is probably Newgrange. Gobhann has not been identified but must have been in the vicinity of Drogheda or Old Bridge. The caves referred to are underground passages and chambers that were usually built with stone walls and roofs, and were used to hide valuables and people during predatory raids. Both the mounds at Knowth and Dowth are known to contain souterrains but no souterrain at Newgrange has been identified. In the Orkney Islands the Vikings explored the camber of the passage tomb at Maeshowe and carved 30 runic inscriptions on the walls. Perhaps the Vikings also explored the passage tomb chambers in Brú na Bóinne.

The cave of Achadh Aldai, in Mughdhorna Maighen; the cave of Cnoghbhai; the cave of the grave of Bodan, i.e. the shepherd of Elcmar, over Dubhath; and the cave of the wife of Gobhann, at Drochat Atha, were broken and plundered by the same foreigners.

 
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