Grianan of Aileach Ring Fort, Burt, Inishowen, County Donegal, Ireland
For years I was visualising a photo of this fort protruding from low lying mist whilst being illuminated by the suns golden light. I will never forget that particular morning I captured this photo. The Mist was so dense everywhere, so at 6am I set out on a mission to attempt this sunrise scene. Driving in the dark with 6ft visibility on frozen country roads I safely arrived. A slippery uphill hike & a few falls later I reached the fort.
To my joy it was standing proudly above the low fog banks along Lough Swilly just as hoped for. Now it was fingers crossed whether the sunrise would play ball too? To be honest the sky didn’t look promising at first, then suddenly the sun had risen above the horizon & fired out its colours. At this exact moment the clouds started rolling up over the fort like waves. These clouds reflected the suns amber rays perfectly. I stood there in awe on this ancient monument bathed by these elements working in harmony. This was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life 😊
First constructed around 1700 BC (probably with earthen walls) by the Tuatha de Danann. An Grianan Fort was once a seat of power were the ‘O’Neill Kings’ reigned from for over 700 years. An Grianan of Aileach is the best known monument in Inishowen & easily one of the greatest in all Ireland. Situated along Donegal’s coast on a hilltop 800 feet above sea level the view from Aileach is breathtakingly beautiful. Legend states that the giants of Inishowen (Princes of Aileach) are lying sleeping under this hill but when a hidden sacred sword is removed from this ring fort, they will return back to life reclaiming their ancient lands ☘️