Grianan Of Aileach, County Donegal

#4 of 40 in Historic Sites in County Donegal
Must see · Ruin · Historic Site
The Grianan of Aileach ( gree-nən əv AL-yə(kh); Irish: Grianán Ailigh [ˌɟɾʲiənˠaːnˠ ˈalʲiː], 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; although there is evidence that the site had been in use before the fort was built. It has been identified as the seat of the Kingdom of Ailech and one of the royal sites of Gaelic Ireland. The wall is about 4.5 metres (15 ft) thick and 5 metres (16 ft) high. Inside it has three terraces, which are linked by steps, and two long passages within it. Originally, there would have been buildings inside the ringfort. Just outside it are the remains of a well and a tumulus.

By the 12th century, the Kingdom of Ailech had become embattled and lost a fair amount of territory to the invading Normans. According to Irish literature, the ringfort was mostly destroyed by Muirchertach Ua Briain, King of Munster, in 1101. Substantial restoration work was carried out in 1870. Today, the site is an Irish National Monument and a tourist attraction.
Using our online itinerary creator, Burt attractions like Grianan Of Aileach can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create an itinerary including Grianan Of Aileach
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Grianan Of Aileach reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
357 reviews
  • One of the first main sights you will come to when visiting the Innishowen peninsula is Grainan Of Aileach. It is well signposted off the main road and although the roads become narrow it is an...  more »
  • Quick stop, beautiful drive up, fantastic history, incredible scenery. Leashes dogs appear to be allowed up to near the fort but not inside.  more »
  • Build a trip
    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it
    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package
    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!
    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance