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Grianan Of Aileach

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Address: | Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland
Description:

Legend says it was built by the ancient gods; the ring fort was known as...

Legend says it was built by the ancient gods; the ring fort was known as the Sun Palace and was held sacred. Traces of ancient earthworks, dating to the early Iron Age, surround the fort, enclosing an area of about 5 acres (0.02 km2). The fort itself was probably built in the early centuries of the Christian era. From the 5th to the 12th century AD it served as the royal seat of the O Neill sept of Aileach; it was destroyed by Murtogh O Brien, king of Munster in 1101. To make the demolition complete, the king ordered each of his soldiers to take away a stone from the fort. Grianan of Aileach was reconstructed by Dr Bernard of Derry in 1870, but archaeologists are doubtful about the inner restoration.

    Surrounding the stone fort are three concentric low walls which formed part of the original fortification of the fort.

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Magnificent views

Perched up high, offering 360 degree views, it is not hard to understand why this spot was chosen for the construction of this ancient ring fort. Thought to have been destroyed by... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 13 October 2016
Travel_Revival
,
Melbourne, Australia
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200 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 178: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
325 reviews
212 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

Perched up high, offering 360 degree views, it is not hard to understand why this spot was chosen for the construction of this ancient ring fort. Thought to have been destroyed by the invading Normans, it was reconstructed in the late 19th century and is an excellent example of this form of fortification. It is located well off the main... More 

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Thank Travel_Revival
ireland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016

Beautiful old Fort with fantastic views of Donegal, and the River Swilly. Great photo opportunities.

Helpful?
Thank kanuIreland
Greenville, Texas
Level Contributor
85 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2016 via mobile

We happened on the Fort on a very windy, rainy foggy day and still enjoyed it. The view from the top of the parking area was beautiful for a few moments before being obscured by the weather. The hardy in our group walked up the reconstructed fort, and had fun climbing up the steep ramparts and walking around the fort.... More 

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Thank Greenvilledan
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016 via mobile

This is an ancient ring fort historical spot. Free admittance all the time. Opening hours vary depending on the time of year so planning ahead would be advised. The winter solstice would be a brilliant experience i must say.

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Thank León Ó
Paris
Level Contributor
98 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016

It's kinda hidden and the sign posts are confusing but continue at least 2kms and you'll arrive at a small sign on the right which points left to the monument. On a clear day the views of lough Foyle are impressive. Restored in the late 18th century it's origins go back to 1700 BC I've also been told that St... More 

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Thank kevinhayden
Gourock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
180 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016 via mobile

Yip, the circular structure is no more than ok, the information on site is limited, but..., the 360 degree views are simply breathtaking. You can see multiple weather fronts as you take in the stunning emerald landscape, rainbows kissing the tips of the hills and cloud acting as a curtain to some yet unseen gem in the landscape. No more... More 

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1 Thank Lambretta101
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
122 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2016

The round fort is located up a few narrow roads with a car park adjacent to it. There are beautiful scenic views from the walls which are accessed by a series of stone steps and also local walks around the fort. Well worth a visit.

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Thank Mrs_Pud1
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

Well signposted but up very narrow, winding lanes. Would not want to meet a bus en route. Small site but very interesting but would recommend reading up on the history before you go to really appreciate it. Fantastic views.

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1 Thank Copperhead26
Newtownards, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2016

We visited this amazing fort in the mist so views were difficult but it didn't detract from the surroundings and its striking beauty. Steps around are very slippery so take care

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Thank megirwin
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2016

The most incredible views, arguably, in all of Ireland. The structure itself is impressive, although it would've been nice to have had more info available on site. Wheelchair access ramp in course of construction when I visited, which is great to see but why not already in place? Overall, would highly recommend a detour to visit/soak up the spectacular scenery.

Helpful?
Thank Dermot O

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