Sites K and L
Here beyond the mound west of the fairy mansion
The spot where Cermait the fair was born,
Behold it on the way, not a far step."
From a dindshenchas poem entitled Brug na Boinne by Macnia mac Oengusa, Book of Leinster, 1160.
The Boyne Valley has some 40 neolithic monuments all clustered within the Bend of the river Boyne. Aside from the famous mound, there are several other monuments on the ridge of Newgrange. There are three smaller mounds, two to the west and one, Site Z to the east of Newgrange, and there may well have been a fourth mound, Z1 on the east side. These very interesting monuments were excavated by O'Kelly in 1965 and 1966 during his work at Newgrange.
"About a hundred yards distant from this mount [Newgrange], are placed two other pyramids, but of a much smaller size, not above a fourth part as big, and like it, are both encompassed with a circle of stones, set at some distance each from another, round their bottoms; but these stones bear a sort of proportion to the dimensions of the mount they surround, and therefore are abundantly less than those encompassing the larger mount.
As yet we know not what may be the fashions or inward contrivance of these two smaller mounts, because their caves or passages leading to them have not been hitherto discovered; but such an attempt were easy, by reason of the smallness of the mounts, did any person's leisure or curiosity incline them after such antiquities"
Sir Thomas Molyneux, 1711.
Site K is probably the older of the two mounds and is an extremely interesting monument. It is about 20 meters in diameter and has 34 kerbstones, one bearing engravings. The chamber is undifferentiated, but has a small triangular 'annex' added to the right side, which was not accessible from the chamber.
The passage is 9 meters long and opens towards the south. The passage and chamber were separated by a decorated sillstone with interesting carvings on both sides. Seven stones bearing decoration were found in total at Site K.
The monument was built in two phases; the smaller inner monument can be seen in the excavation photo above, is 8 meters in diameter with a passage 5 meters long. An unusual feature, a ditch was dug around the original monument, 3 meters out from the kerb.
At some later stage the passage was extended and a new outer kerb was added bringing the diameters to 20 meters. A smaller inner ring of boulders was found between the chamber and the original kerb on the west side. Such inner rings are found at several other sites such as nearby Knowth, Townley Hall and Carrowmore, and may indicate that the monument had a freestanding phase.
Also during the excavation, a displaced capstone was discovered, which had been pushed down behind the chamber. A blocking stone was found in the entrance to the passage.