After nearly two weeks of bad winds, rain and icy air; this morning brought a welcomed break.Despite the sign the barrier was open at nine and to my surprise, the gate as well. It may not necessarily be hospitality and sometimes I can’t help thinking, that they do not expect visitors at certain times of the year.But whatever the reason, I got in and had it all to myself. Birds were singing. The noise from the road so far down the hill is so loud and clear. And I must have scared at least three rabbits out of their morning slumber in the sun.The landscape has much changed over the last 1000 – 2000 years. But straight ahead out of the gate lays Derry. Elagh Mor and my “undated” circular enclosure at one of the Lisfannon hills spread out like a fan in this semicircle. But where is Elagh Beag? I read recently that such sites were visibly connected in a triangular manner. It works from Grianan’s gate with the few sites I know of. And there is reason to think that Grianan was the middle. And everything else around it could be seen only from there.I have no doubt now, that a road once lead from Doire to Grianan and Grianan stood on this hill as a circular stone fort before the arrival of Christianity. It makes no sense to build such statement of pagan symbolism within sight of a Christian centre. And Derry has a Stone Age past; although no mentioning is made of it and I wonder what is was called before its name became Daire Calgaich.A survey of the hillforts in the North-West, including Grianan, is momentarily underway. Not something you find in the news and I suppose I will have a hard time getting hold of the conclusions.
PS: Either the gate is shrinking or I am growing. It seems that I have less head space above than I remembered of having. As it stands now: my height plus three fingers.