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Greenan MountainHillCnoc an Ghrianáin A name in IrishIr. Cnoc an Ghrianáin [logainm.ie], ‘hill of An Grianán or the sun-house’DonegalCounty in Ulster Province, in Binnion, Local/Historical/Cultural Lists, Schist and grit with thin marble units Bedrock
Height:241mOS 1:50k Mapsheet: 7Grid Reference: C36654 19753 Place visited by 51 members. Recently by: caiomhin, mcrtchly, moggy40, Hoverla, trostanite, kernowclimber, cclair, Lauranna, DavidHoy, pdtempan, dregish, melohara, magnumpig, slugtrail, eamonoc I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)
This hill has a commanding view of the upper reaches of Lough Swilly, southern Inishowen, the countryside to the south and, a little further away, Lough Foyle. It is, no doubt, for this dominant position that it was chosen as the site for the building of Grianán Ailigh, the Grianán of Aileach, a hilltop cashel or stone fort. This was probably built in the early Middle Ages, but there is archaeological evidence for an earlier prehistoric fort dating to the 8th or 9th century B.C. The cashel guarded a territory called Aileach. It is possible that it was built as the capital of Aileach, which held the overkingship of Cenél nEógain, an important population group of North-West Ulster. It took over as the capital of Ulster after the destruction of Emain Macha (Navan Fort near Armagh). However, by the later Middle Ages Aileach had its royal centre at the castle of Elaghmore (Ir. Aileach Mór), a stronghold of the O’Doherty clan. The townlands of Elaghmore and Elaghbeg are situated below on the plain, a few kilometres north-east of the Grianán of Aileach, not far from the city of Derry. Thus, the Grianán was, at least in the late Middle Ages, a hill-fort guarding the boundary of this kingdom of Aileach rather than being a royal centre itself. There are numerous references to Grianán Ailigh in early Irish history and in mythological tales. According to one of the best-known legends, it was built for the burial of Aed, son of the pagan god Dagda. For further details on the archaeology, history and folklore of this site, see Heritage Guide no.48, “The Grianán of Aileach, Co. Donegal”, which accompanied Archaeology Ireland magazine issue no. 91, Spring 2010. There is a road which climbs almost the whole way to the summit of the hill. From the car park it is only a walk of about 100m to the fort.
Greenan Mountain is the 1300th highest place in Ireland. Greenan Mountain is the second most southerly summit in the Inishowen area. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1224/
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