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The Fortress of the Sun, Grianan Aileach: Burt, Co Donegal


Grianan Aileach - Photo by Christy Nicholas

Grianan Aileach – Photo by Christy Nicholas

Grianan Aileach, also known as the Fortress of the Sun, is a Bronze Age fort, may have been built around 500-600 CE, or perhaps even farther back, and commands a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. It’s not a particularly tall hill, but it’s taller than anything nearby. You can see north over the Inishowen Peninsula. The Fort is in good repair, and you can climb up steps built into the walls to the top of the fort. It was the clan seat of the Ui Neill clan for many years.

The drive up to the fort is a bit harrowing, with single track roads and very high hedges. However, there’s a decent sized parking area near the top, and the rest of the distance is a short climb. It has boards for maintenance vehicles to drive up, and you could probably get a wheelchair up with some effort.

It is very close to Derry, and an easy trip from many places in County Donegal. It would make a wonderful stop on the way to or from Inishowen.

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Written by Christy Nicholas

Christy Nicholas

Christy is an artist, accountant and traveler with a love for Ireland and hopes to move there someday. A variety of her artwork and travel reports are available at www.greendragonartist.com. Christy’s Tips | Website

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