Holywell Hill – Part 1

It has been a few years since I visited for the first and only time Holywell Hill, basically just to see, how the Grianán looks from this easterly direction and if anything could be found, perhaps even something which may shed some light on the function of Greenan Hill. So I returned, only to find …

A stone of some distinction

On many occasions I have stood there, ringing my hands and wishing from the bottom of my heart that the stones in front of me could and would speak, which, very much regretted, is not really going to happen. But, given some time spend in their company, they do tell of at least some parts …

As the sun rose from the sea – Beltane 2013

Although somewhat expected, it still caused considerable excitement, as I saw suddenly a faint orange crescent rising, seemingly out of the water, from the eastern shore of the mouth of Lough Foyle on the morning of April 30. And if the skies would have been clear enough some days later, then this sun would have …

Spring Equinox 2013

A hazy sun rose this morning but a sun nevertheless. And although having seen the marvel of this alignment already twice, it still creates amazement, as if it may not appear on this occasion. Even so, a longer then usual winter, artic winds and seemingly eternal grey skies, made this break a very fortunate one, …

The case of the illusive sun at Grianán

Perhaps one should keep more earnestly in mind, when expecting with a reasonable likelihood the rising and setting of the sun on specific dates in the calendar, visible from the monument, that the literally translation of the name grianan signifies little sun and very little indeed was to be seen of it during the winter …

Near the end of this year

This year, so close now to its completion, has been a restless one, perhaps just perceived but nevertheless quite convincing, as if nothing touched could lead to a conclusion. Started projects scattered everywhere and traces of progress so frightfully thin. But apart from such unfamiliar commotion and running its course even faster then before, it …

Autumn equinox 2012

Seldom has this monument seen such commotion in the early hours of a Saturday morning. Members of a local sports club had erected an obstacle course at the car park and started exercising under the first glorious rays of the rising sun, – today of all days. A group of Polish members of our community …

Moments of a monument – summer solstice 2012

Very early, Tuesday morning, June 19 Fine veils of mist floated across the road between Buncrana and Burnfoot. An unpromising thick fog covered the low lying shortcut to Burt, reaching its extent just below the summit, from where I was offered to view beauty unseen in quite motion. Mist rolled over the hills of the …

Defending Aileach

Article from the Inish Times, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 By Roisin McLaughlin Short version available at Donegal Now   Photo by David Porter, Buncrana Camera Club Grianan Fort may not be a fort after all Further evidence to indicate Grianan Fort may not be a fort after all – at least not in the sense …

Grianán’s Day

People make monuments. These ‘venerable piles of stones’, no matter how old or how elaborate, require efforts to elevate them into such position twice. The ingenuity and passion of their erection alone, does not guarantee neither survival nor remembrance. It has be left to the generations to come, not just to accommodate them within an …

Working projection of possible plan

A very dear friend, who took it upon herself to leave no manuscript unturned in Dublin, to find for me illusive information on the Grianán, brought home from her last visit a plan, drawn in January 1835, signed by Robert Kearsley Dawson, containing some additional measurements. Having watched a programme about the pyramids in Giza, …

Spring Equinox 2012

The monument is aligned to the rising sun of the equinox, its beam effectively halving  its inside into a northern and southern part. At entering through the gate the circa 3 feet wide beam reaches the lower stones of the wall opposite. It seems very likely that the stone-lined path found at its discovery would …

Queen Gormley

The following was found in the Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological 1905, Vol. 5, p. 18 Extracts from the diary of the Bishop of Derry William Nicolson: July 5. (1718) Goeing (wth ye Dean & Mayor of Derry &c.) to dine at Fawn, we took our way by ye Top of …

The doorway at the northern passage

All plans of the Grianán present a doorway to each passage inside the eastern half of the monument, except two. One can be found in the first known account, given by William Blacker from June 1830. His sketch of the plan shows no entrance to the northern passage and he also writes: “The approach to …

Bronze Age Burial near the ancient road

Bronze Age Burial at Bunnamayne, County Donegal Author(s): J. C. T. MacDonagh and P. J. Hartnett Source: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 81, No. 1 (1951), pp.48-5 While tractor ploughing (Feb. 1950) for his uncle in a field on the crest of Bunnamayne hill, County Donegal, one of Mr. …

A poem from 1969

Written as part of a school project. By JG, age 12. Grianan of Aileach On a lonely hill does Grianan stand Where it overlooks the sea and land, Prince Owen and his men did spy All enemies that advanced nearby. And when the battle was over and done Owen’s men feasted and had fun, And …

Grianán Gormlaig

On August 1st 1834 John O’Donovan wrote in his letter to Thomas Larcom: “I went on Thursday to see the ruin of the work of Rigriu and Garvan on the summit of a hill which derives its name from the building. It is amazingly interesting, but to me wonderfully puzzling! Is it possible that this …

The Red Book of Aileach

An attempt to send a book on a journey, in the hope that it will change many hands, collect the nearly forgotten and the merely lingering. Let’s see, what will happen. Afterall, from tomorrow on, the days will become longer. The Red Book of Aileach

Ta mo hall

Ta mo hall – This is my hall. The National monument, known as the Grianán of Aileach, has become over the last few years, more and more, a case of mistaken identity on the part of George Petrie, who in 1834 determined, as part of the Ordnance Survey, that the newly found ruin on Greenan …

Addition to four maybes

Measurements for the four possible standing stones, as well as I could take them. Stone 1 Lengths: 1.66 m Height: 0.70 m Thickness: 0.25 m Stone 2 Lengths: 1.30 m Height: 1.20 m Thickness: 0.41m Stone 3 Lengths: 1.60 m Height: 1.32 m Thickness: 0.28 m Stone 4 Lengths: 1.20 m Height: 0.63 m Thickness: …

Four maybes

Nearly straight upwards from the third stone in the row lie scattered four more suspicious stone which may amount to four more possible standing stones. Will measure them next time when winds are less lethal. Sometimes standing alone proofed to be a challenge without holding on to paper, pencil and measurement tape. Being bold would …