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Grianan Of Aileach

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Address: | Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland

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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amazing views

even on a murky day with lots of mizzle Grianan is worth a detour off the main derry-letterkenny road. we were the only visitors here today and the views - in spite of the weather... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Belfast, United Kingdom
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205 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 183: English reviews
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

even on a murky day with lots of mizzle Grianan is worth a detour off the main derry-letterkenny road. we were the only visitors here today and the views - in spite of the weather - were spectacular - go see!

Thank S0par
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I have driven past the sign for this place several times and not realised what a fantastic place it is. This place should be visited on a clear sunny day and you will then get the most fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. Well worth a climb up the steps but be careful coming down them. This has to be... More 

Thank TLSM21
Clady, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I have driven past the signs for the last 14 years and only now visited, my recommendation is on the next clear day you are free visit here. the views are spectacular as is the fort itself.

Thank Margaret H
Bristol, UK
Level Contributor
152 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were recommended to visit by the owner of our B&B in Derry. And we were not disappointed. It's a great view at this height and an interesting well restored iron age fort as well (albeit there is not a great deal to do once you have gone round the ramparts) Finding the location off the N13 road can be... More 

Thank hanhamvillager
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great Iron Age fort - worth a visit. We came here with friends, good friend grew up in Derry and comes here every time he returns. The view from the fort is excellent and the building itself is amazing to look at and wander around, contemplate building it up here (it's amazing it wasn't ransacked for building material years ago).... More 

Thank Ben C
County Donegal, Ireland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2017

I live quite close to this beautiful attraction, but always enjoy spending some time there. Spectacular views over 3 counties, Donegal, Derry & Tyrone not to mention the beautiful Lough Swilly. # tip - remember to take a handy pair of binoculars.

Thank ulsterb
County Donegal, Ireland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2017

What I loved about this place is it took me into another world. I imagined I was there myself many many years ago...It is worth a visit if you are passing. Im not sure if I would go out of my way to visit. Very beautiful and maybe we are spoilt for choice in Donegal.

Thank Vera M
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
77 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2017 via mobile

The Grianan of Aileach (Irish: Grianán Ailigh, sometimes anglicised as Greenan Ely or Greenan Fort) is a hillfort atop the 244 metres (801 ft) high Greenan Mountain at Inishowen in County Donegal, Ireland. The main structure is a stone ringfort, thought to have been built by the Northern Uí Néill, in the sixth or seventh century CE;[1] although there is... More 

Thank Mary K
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2017

When you holiday in Donegal, at least one day will be clear and sunny. It may be in the morning or it may be late in the day, but if you are around Burt, then you should go up to Grianan of Aileach. The drive from the church on the main road will take about 10 minutes and is not... More 

1 Thank David-five-o
Level Contributor
123 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2016

Ok, the view was fantastic; a great 360 from up high. I confess I don't know the full historical story on this place; an ancient Irish fort (it was hailing when we visited so we didn't stay long).... But it was what seemed a great ancient fort; nothing built up around it; with a good guide i'm sure you could... More 

1 Thank Daugman

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