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Donegal Castles & Forts

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Burt Castle, Donegal, Ireland

Burt Castle is probably the best known castle in the north-west because of it prominent position on a hilltop clearly visible from the Derry-Letterkenny road. There is no path or road to the site of the castle and it is on private land. It is possible to get close to it by taking one of the roads leading off of the main Derry-Letterkenny road. It was built in the sixteenth century during the reign of Henry the VIII.

Carrowmore, Donegal, Ireland

Carrowmore is the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland, with over 60 tombs. The oldest of these predate Newgrange by some 700 years. A restored cottage houses an interesting exhibition relating to the site.

Clonca Church, Culdaff Donegal, Ireland

Clonca Church is on the site of a monastery founded by St. Buodan was built probably in the 17th century but the lintel over the door, with worn carved figures on it, was taken from an earlier church. In the north-east angle of the church is a grave-slab erected by Magnus MacOrristin. In the adjoining field to the west is a very pleasing High Cross. On its east face in the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and on the west face two men with folded arms and on each side there are a number of geometric patterns.

Donegal Castle, Donegal, Ireland

Donegal Castle built in 1505 by the O'Donnell family who were the ruling Gaelic family in Donegal for over a thousand years until they left Ireland with the Flight of the Earls in 1607.

Glebe House & Gallery Donegal, Ireland

Glebe House & Gallery is a regency house decorated with Victorian William Morris wallpaper, textiles and works by leading 20th century artists. Regency House, 1828, set in woodland gardens, decorated with William Morris textiles, Islamic and Japanese art etc. The collection includes 300 works by leading 20th century artists; Picasso, Kokoshka as well as Irish and Italian artists

Glenveagh Castle & Gardens, Churchill, Donegal, Ireland

Glenveagh Castle is a 19th century castellated mansion and was built between 1867 and 1873. Henry McIlhenny, the last owner of the castle, served the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Curator of Decorative Arts and his expertise in this field is evident throughout the castle. Glenveagh National Park is located 24km north-west of Letterkenny and can be reached via the villages of Kilmacrennan or Churchill.

Glencolmcille Donegal, Ireland

Glencolmcille is situated on the Slieve League Peninsula at the south-west point of Donegal, nearby lies the mountains of Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) and Leahan and on the north by Slieve Tooey. To the west lies the restless Atlantic Ocean. Glencolmcille is justifiably famous for its wealth of archaeological sites and artefacts. The history of Glencolmcille spans some 5,000 years, back to the Stone Age when the first farmers toiled the lands here. Traces of these early settlers are the Court Cairns, examples of which can be found at Malinmore, Cloghanmore and Farranmacbride. The next group of people to leave traces of habitation were those of the Celtic period, dating from 300 b.c. onwards. Traces of their Dúns, Raths or Liosanna, circular earth or stone works, can be seen above the Silver Strand at Malinbeg and on the cliffs of Doonalt. This rich heritage of mounuments dates from 3,000 b.c. Court Cairns: these are the characteristic tombs of Ireland's earliest settlers. They were erected in Glencolmcille and in the valley of Malinmore to the west. They are built of massive stones in the manner current all over Atlantic Europe at the time. These Court Cairns were burial places, built with huge stones, forming a court area with burial chambers or galleries. A later group of settlers in the Stone Age left the remains of their style of tomb building, the Portal Dolmens, which consist of several standing stones surmounted by a capstone. At Malinmore there is a group of six Portal Dolmens (reputed to be one of the finest example of their type in Ireland). Most of the Standing Stones, many of them cross inscribed, form what is know as Turas Cholmcille.

Grianan Ailigh Centre, Burt, Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland

Grianan Ailigh, Inishowen, Co Donegal is a group of historic monuments in Ireland built on the hill of Grianán which is 244 metres high. It is believed that the ancient burial site could well have been dated to the Neolithic Period. (1700 BC) The cashel dates from an early historic period (600 A.D).

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