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Mythical Ireland

Storm clouds at Knowth West

Storm clouds at Knowth West

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I had an opportunity to visit Knowth to photograph sunset at the entrance to its western passage on Sunday 13th October 2019. What unfolded was sublime. Weather conditions were among the most incredible I have seen. A huge, dark shower cloud rolled in towards sunset, and just when hope was fading of seeing the sun, it appeared through a wall of rain between the bottom of the cloud and the horizon, creating this truly dazzling and awesome scene. This is the time of year when the sunlight reaches its maximum penetration into the western passage of Knowth – or should I say the bend in the passage, where the old passage and the new meet when Knowth was modified and enlarged. Contrary to popular assertion, the sun does NOT shine into the passages of Knowth exactly at the equinoxes. It shines into Knowth west about 18 days before spring (vernal) equinox and 18 days after autumn equinox. Ideally, I should have been there on October 11th. But I could only manage two days later, on the 13th. The photo is taken from just in front of the gate at the entrance to Knowth's Western passage, BEHIND kerb stone 74, the entrance kerb stone, which you can see at the bottom of the photo. The "gnomon" stone and the large "egg" stone are illuminated by flash. The sky was doing its own incredible thing! Fascinatingly, the day upon which the sun attains its maximum reach into Knowth West in early March, is 384 days or 13 synodic lunar months ahead of the following vernal equinox. Because the sun is moving along the horizon rapidly at this time of year – by approximately one solar diameter per day – it would appear that on the day upon which the sun attains maximum penetration into the western passage, the sun would be blocked by the gnomon stone at the moment of sunset. Does this mean that the shadow of the gnomon is cast into the passage? Does it also mean that the sunlight is effectively split into two beams – one illuminating the orthostats on the northern wall of the passage and the other the southern wall? Some interesting questions. I suspect the large egg-stone to the south (left) of the gnomon is also important. What does its shadow do in relation to kerb 74? Perhaps the point of its shadow lines up with the vertical groove in K74 on the day of Samhain? More investigation needed. I'm grateful for the assistance of the OPW in helping make this observation possible.


Printed on high quality photographic paper that is fade resistant.


Medium Landscape

H x W
20.3cm x 30.5cm
8" x 12"

Large Landscape

H x W
30.5cm x 45.7cm
12" x 18"

Portrait prints are the same dimensions except the height and width are swapped.

Care information

Care of Photo Prints

It's important that you should care for your fine art prints just as you would any delicate and valuable artwork. With proper handling, your prints will remain in pristine condition for many years to come.

Follow these recommendations


  • Natural skin oils or other contaminants can easily transfer to the print. As a preventative measure, we recommend washing your hands before touching a photograph. If possible wear clean, white cotton gloves that are lint free and designed for handling the art.
  • Use both hands and support the back of a print when picking up the photograph.
  • Never attempt to rub the surface of the image with your finger or fingernail as this could scratch the surface of the print.

Exposure to Elements

  • Keep your print out of direct sunlight. Even the best quality materials are subject to cracking or fading if exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. Although normal incandescent light bulbs do not present a problem for photographic images; fluorescent lights do emit harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Hang your print away from areas where airborne grime, dust and pollutants such as cigarette smoke can leave a discolouring residue.
  • Avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture and temperature. Excessive fluctuations between dryness and humidity, or extreme heat and cold can negatively affect the state of your print. Museums keep the temperature generally around 18 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 40%. If the humidity is too high, be on the lookout for mold.


  • When framing your print use a good quality glass specifically designed for protecting fine art and photographic images. We also recommend using an acid-free archival mat to prevent the print and glass from touching.


  • To prevent accidents, store your print away from anything that might press against the image surface. Some objects may not seem sharp enough to damage the print, but you'd be surprised at what will cause a scratch, a tear, or a rip.
  • Do not stack prints on top of each other. Separate them with pieces of acid-free paper to avoid damage.
  • Wrap your print well if you plan to transport it. Be sure to put a piece of acid-free paper over the front to protect the print. Rough handling can damage the print so pack it securely.
  • Do not cover your print with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, the mold may begin to grow. Cotton, acid-free sheets are the best for keeping dust away.


  • The print should be dusted with a clean, soft rag, to prevent dust buildup. Never use cleaning products or water as this may permanently damage the print.
  • Do not blow on your print as you may inadvertently deposit water droplets that can mark your print.
  • If using compressed air, apply short bursts while keeping the nozzle at least 12" back from the face of the print.
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