Family and friends of emigrants would accompany them as far as the bridge before saying goodbye, while the emigrants would continue on to Derry Port.
The plaque commemorating The Bridge of Tears reads, “Fad leis seo a thagadh cairde agus lucht gaoil an té a bhí ag imeacht chun na coigrithe. B'anseo an scaradh. Seo Droichead na nDeor” (Family and friends of the person leaving for foreign lands would come this far. Here was the separation. This is the Bridge of Tears).
The origins of the Grianán of Aileach fort are dated back to 1700 BC and are steeped in legends. By the 6th or 7th century it belongs to the Uí Néill clan and has been identified as the seat of the Kingdom of Aileach, one of the royal sites of Gaelic Ireland. The wall is about 4.5 metres (15 ft) thick and 5 metres (16 ft) high. It has three terraces, which are linked by steps, and two long passages within it.
By the 12th century, the Kingdom of Aileach had become embattled and lost a fair amount of territory to the invading Normans. According to Irish literature, the ringfort was mostly destroyed by Muirchertach Ua Briain, King of Munster, in 1101.