Results of aerial surveys carried out during the summer have identified that "immense timber enclosures and large ceremonial henges" were once features of the Neolithic landscape close to Newgrange Passage Tomb in Co Meath.

The National Monuments Service carried out aerial reconnaissance of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site following the initial discovery of cropmarks in the parched fields of the River Boyne floodplain in July.

In an interim report published today, the NMS says these were once monuments that "clearly formed a deliberately structured and ritual landscape of great significance".

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, said: "This new information is a graphic illustration of the extent and density of ritual and ceremonial sites associated with the Newgrange Passage Tomb."

The interim report comes as people gather at Newgrange to celebrate the winter solstice.