Grianan of Aileach

Map Reference: C367198

This fine stone fort sits on a hill-top overlooking Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly. It is entered through a lintelled passage.

The internal diameter is about 24m and the walls are up to 4m thick. On the inner face there are several stairways and terraces. Two mural passages run from the inside to the entrance. The passage to the right of the entrance is about 1.5m high and less than 1m wide. At its innermost end there is a very small opening communicating with the entrance. The other passage is lower and narrower. Near its inner end is a small recess in one wall.

The fort was demolished in 1101 by Murtogh O Brien, King of Munster. It was greatly reconstructed in 1870 by Dr Bernard of Derry. Surrounding the fort are three low concentric walls which formed part of the original fortification.

Some photos showing the terraces and stairways on the inner face of the wall

Some photos of the mural passages

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