Dún Aonghasa

Cliff-edge fort

This stone fort was described by 19th century archaeologist George Petrie as "the most magnificent barbaric monument extant in Europe". This site certainly lives up to his description. Standing precariously on the edge of a 100 metre high cliff above the Atlantic Ocean, the fort is a magnificent spectacle. The fort is semi-circular in shape, but may have originally been a circular fort, of which half has fallen into the ocean due to erosion.

The fort consists of three irregular shaped inner walls surrounded by a Chevaux-de-frise, with a fourth outer wall covering some 14 acres.One of the main features of this monument is a spectacular Chevaux-de-frise, a mode of defense designed to thwart an attack. It consists of large sharp limestone slabs sticking out from the ground at different angles, making it almost impossible to navigate a way through especially on horseback.


Looking west


From the east

Although no exact date has been given to the building of Dún Aonghasa, it is thought to be of the late Bronze age. I would advise you to visit the fort in the late evening when most of the day trippers have gone. We visited during the day, when the visitor centre was open and again late that evening when we were fortunate enough to have the place to ourselves.

Situated: From Kilronan take the main road north west through the town towards Kilmurvey. From here the fort is well sign-posted, just follow the signs or even the crowds of visitors. Heritage card accepted.

Discovery Map 51: L 8173 0975. Last visit May 2009.

Longitude: 9° 46' 1" W

Latitude: 53° 7' 31" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey


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