Stone ring fort at the Grianán of Aileach, on the summit of Greenan Mountain, County Donegal, Ireland.
This stone fort is thought to have been constructed during the 8th or 9th century as the seat of Cenél nEógain, rulers of the ancient kingdom of Aileach. This monument however evidently had far earlier origins, surrounding the stone fort are the remains of an earlier hill fort, which was likely constructed approximately 1000 BCE. A small Neolithic or Early Bronze Age stone cairn is also nearby.
The side-accessed double-doors, the central loft and the two distinct “wings” to the left and right are what we’ve decided are really important aspects of what we’re trying to achieve.
While what we can build is of course reliant on the trailer we are able to source when we get to Ireland next year - we’re working on our design and I’ll post some of the sketches/ideas we’re playing with soon.
It has been suggested that the name of the site is linked to the Celtic festival of fertility known as ‘Beltane’, the anglicized name for the Gaelic May Day festival, commonly held on May 1st and historically observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Beltany is a neolithic stone circle that dates from around 1400-800 BC and comprises 64 stones around a tumulus situated at the summit of Tops Hill. One stone is decorated with cup marks and many of the stones stand at an angle after being disturbed around a hundred years ago. There may originally have been about 80 stones. A single stone about 6.5 feet high stands to the southeast of the circle. It probably had some function related to the rites or ceremonies in the circle. A stone head was found at Beltany, probably carved between 400 BC and 400 AD. This may indicate that the stone circle was used for many centuries.