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“Fantastic views on a clear day” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grianan Aileach Ring Fort

Grianan Aileach Ring Fort
Burt, Ireland
353-77-68512
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Ranked #18 of 132 attractions in County Donegal
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
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Attraction Details
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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic views on a clear day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2010

Whilst its ʻancientʼ origins have been somewhat compromised by some rather extensive
renovations/rebuilding by a well-meaning local in the 19th century, this is nevertheless a
fantastic place to spend half an hour or so. Fantastic views over the wonderful Inishowen
peninsula can be seen from here. The day we went it was clear blue skies, windy and
superb. One of our favourite places of all the places we saw in Ireland.

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75 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Stunning!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

This is Ireland. From the view atop the walls, to the sounds of the nearby farms, to the smell and feel of the mists off the sea nearby.
A haunting place that will never leave you.
Slainte!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Canada
1 review
“One of the 'must see' places in Ireland.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2008

Grianan Fort dates back to the Iron Age. It is known to have been
connected to the O'Neill chieftains of Ulster from the 5th through
the 12th centuries. In 1870 it was rebuilt/restored. More
information is available at the excellent interpretive centre below
the site. Grianan is very well worth a visit. It was a favourite
spot of my late wife and I. The view is awesome! You can see Lough Swilly with Inch island and its causeways and Fanad Head in the distance, Lough Foyle, Derry City, the River Foyle upstream from Derry towards Strabane, and the Hills of Donegal, including Errigal and Muckish, the 2 highest peaks. You can even crawl (kids love it!) inside the walls that are about 15' thick.

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Perth Australia
1 review
“A must visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2007

Go for the amazing views of the sourounding lush green country side, loved the fort just feels good there, calm, relaxed take your camera, I went back again and again, Kate Perth Australia, check out this site for pic's Grianan of Aileach- picture gallery

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Newmarket, Canada
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
244 helpful votes 244 helpful votes
“Beautiful views of County Donegal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2005

The circular fort overlooks Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle. On clear day the view is spectacular. The church at the bottom of the hill has interpretive centre for more information.

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