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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 110
  • 56
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 0
Beautiful spot

This is one ot the most amazing viewing points in Donegal. Please remember to go on a clear day to get the benefit out of your trip

Review collected in partnership with Windows 10 app

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
via mobile
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191 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 171: English reviews
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

This is one ot the most amazing viewing points in Donegal. Please remember to go on a clear day to get the benefit out of your trip

Review collected in partnership with Windows 10 app

Thank Avocado887
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We stopped by on the way down from Malin Head on our way to Donegal Town, and are glad we stopped. This stone circle fort is very remote, but Google maps took us right to the entrance. We were lucky to be there on a beautiful October afternoon, with only a few other visitors. There is no fee to visit,... More 

Thank WBBatlanta
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

It was a short walk up to have an amazing view of Inishowen. Had a lovely time climbing up the fort and walking the 360 degrees of view.

Thank Ellie C
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
184 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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 

Thank Travel_Revival
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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

Thank kanuIreland
Greenville, Texas
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago 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 

Thank Greenvilledan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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.

Thank León Ó
Level Contributor
98 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 

Thank kevinhayden
Gourock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
129 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago 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 

1 Thank Lambretta101
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
115 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 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.

Thank Mrs_Pud1

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