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Grianan Aileach Ring Fort

Burt, Ireland
353-77-68512
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Ranked #19 of 135 attractions in County Donegal
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Owner description: 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... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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76 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
176 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Very old fort standing on top of the hill. View from there is quite good, fort itself is magnificent.

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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
363 reviews 363 reviews
131 attraction reviews
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

This historical site is relatively easy to find as its well sign posted. When we visited the hill was covered in thick fog so the scenery was not evident from the Fort, but still well worth while visiting. The fort is well preserved and easily accessible.

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Magheralin, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

From here you can see 3 counties. The Grianan is one of the most still, peaceful places you can visit. It is also near to the town of Letterkenny if you like shopping

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Philadelphia
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
30 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

You'll get a bit of history at Grianan Aileach - it's an extraordinary reproduction of a medieval hill fort built on a hill that overlooks Lough Swilley below - with a sweeping view - you'll look down on the lock and green fields all round with the sheep grazing in them. It's a winding road up to the fort -... More

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Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

This is a can't miss if you like historical sites with great views. I think the key to keep in mind is that if the weather is at all cloudy and/or windy - it will be multiplied up at the top of the hill. You'll need a car or bicycle (buses won't fit up the narrow and steep path) but... More

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Galway, Ireland
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

You can just imagine the warriors hiding in tunnels underneath your feet, the ramparts full of defenders of the high Kings, and the view! Tyrone, Derry, Donegal, in clear view, with the Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle estuaries opening to the North atlantic..well worth the small detour of travelling on the Derry-Letterkenny road.

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Liverpool
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

This place is on the 'Mappa Mundi' but you would never know it. The view covers most of Fanad and the mountains beyond. totally unspoilt which is very surprising but very Donegal tourist board. Beats Stonehenge anytime because its unspoilt.

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Reno, Nevada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

The Grianán of Aileach has been abused by history, extensively (and perhaps imaginatively) rebuilt in the mid-19th century by a local doctor. Recent attempts by the authorities to stabilize the monument to make it safe for tourists have also evoked controversy. But the setting, be it originally a defensive palace or a ceremonial space, is undeniably impressive. And, if you're... More

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Round Lake, Illinois
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
86 attraction reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

In September 2013, my wife and I were driving between Doolin in the Republic of Ireland to Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland for our holiday trip, and I really wanted to visit the Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort. The Grianan Ring Fort is amazingly large compared to other Ring Forts in Ireland (such as the Staigue Ring Fort near Castlecove). The... More

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Northern Ireland
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
23 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

The Grianan is one of these places that once you've visited it you wonder why the tourist authorities don’t seem interested in promoting it. It’s supposedly an iron-age fort but it’s been reconstructed so extensively on several occasions that it’s now more of a replica than the real thing. However it’s still interesting for what it tells about the buildings... More

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