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Dun Aonghasa History

Who Aongus was is unknown. According to legend , Aonghas belonged to a high ranking dynasty who were displaced from their lands in Co. Meath in the early centuries AD. Another possible candidate, is Aonghus Mac Natfraich, King of Cashel in the 5th Century AD, who had dynastic affilliations with Aran.

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Recent excavations by a team from the Discovery programme found evidence for human activity on the hilltop stretching over two and half thousand years (ca. 1500Bc – 1000 AD). First enclosed ca. 1100 BC , the most dynamic period in the history of this hillfort was around 800BC. At that time, Dun Aonghasa was probably the political, economic and ritual centre for a group of people with a common ancestry. Only the elite members of this group would have lived in the fort. After 700BC, the importance of the site waned and, over the the following thousand years, it seems to have been occupied only intermittantly. A major rebuilding programme was undertaken in the early Medievel period (500 – 1000 AD) but the fort was abandoned shortly afterwards. Dun Aonghasa became a National Monument at the end of the 19th century and was extensively repaired shortly afterwards. It is now conserved by the Office of Public Works.

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The late Bronze Age hillfort
Covering an area of 5.7 hectares (14 acres), the interior of the hillfort is divided into an outer, middle and inner enclosure by three curvilinear walls terminating at the cliff. An additional stretch of wall runs along west side and, when the fort was occupied, there was probably a ‘safety wall’ along the cliff-edge . Outside the middle closure is a broad band of chevaux de frise (closely-set stone pillars) that even today are difficult to negotiate.

The original approach to the fort was from the north and the main entrances through the outer and middle walls face in this direction. Today, the entry point is through a breach in the outer wall, but the original doorway can be seen at some distance to the right.

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Middle Enclosure
The original doorway to the middle enclosure, about 50m to the right of the present entrance, is now blocked up because of the poor condition of the roof lintals. The entrance would have been closed off by a wooden gate and the sudden drop inside the threshold was probably designed to trip any unwanted visitors. The bodies of two young men were interred in the paved entrance around 1000 AD. These may have had Viking connections, but there was no evidence to suggest that they died violently.

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Inner Enclosure
The inner enclosing wall measuring 5m in width, was built up in layers so that the foundations could be stepped over rising ground. Originally, it was probably about 6m high and ca. 6,500 tonnes of stone were used in its construction. The terrace on the interior gave access to the wall top and a small chamber in the west side of the wall may have been used for storng precious or perishable goods.

Lifestyle
The stone foundations of seven houses were found in the inner enclosure. The floors were paved and a number had a stone hearth. The outline of a circular house, ca. 5M in diameter, is still visible near thewest wall. Its foundations are partly covered by the enclosing wall , indicating that the house predates the final alterations to the defences. A stone trough outside the door was probably used either for storing water, keeping shellfish fresh, or for boiling meat using the hot-stone cooking method. In addition to meat and cereals, fish and shellfish were an important part of the diet of the late bronze Age occupants. Almost 8 tonnes of limpet shells were found during the excavations. Most of the tools in everyday use (hammers, axes, whetstones, and quern stones) were made of stones) were made of stone. Clothing was made from wool or leather and fastened with bone pins; the range of needle types found also showed that the Late Bronze Age people used a variety of organic materials.

Ritual
The rock platform at the edge may have had a ritual or ceremonial function and hoard of four bronze rings deliberately buried beside it was probably an offering to a deity. At the opposite end of the inner inclosure, a large hearth seems to have been associated with communal feasting and with the casting of bronze weapons and tools.

Beautiful, quiet, across the street from a sandy beach. Huts are snug for 4 but we were outside a lot, so it never felt cramped. Laundry facilities and larger kitchen available in nearby outbuildings, wifi in main building. An excellent place to unplug and rest.
Jill Mulvey
Jill Mulvey
07:58 14 Jul 18
Eco friendly and one of the best stay I have ever been. If u hire bicycle is only two minutes from town. Walking distance is about 10 minutes. Highly recommended. Place is nice and tidy
Eva Ruzickova
Eva Ruzickova
07:10 07 May 18
Nice place to stay, with front sea view and easy to commute to the city.
Brajesh Singh
Brajesh Singh
07:01 04 May 18
Very satisfactory ! Thank you very much ! 😊
Charlotte Tailland
Charlotte Tailland
13:57 02 Apr 18
The welcome was very good. I recommend this place.
Louise Camille Desroches
Louise Camille Desroches
13:38 02 Apr 18
After a hard walking, my friends and i was very satisfising by the welcome the camping had offert to us! Thank you so much
fier d etre moi
fier d etre moi
13:34 02 Apr 18
Very satisfying, they welcome us when we were freezing outside, so thank youuuuuu
Lou acl
Lou acl
13:31 02 Apr 18
Absolutely loved it! Wish we could have stayed longer
Sarah Nash
Sarah Nash
00:03 21 Feb 18
From start to finish I'd an excellent three day stay here.The owner was a gentleman, he unexpectantly to us, was waiting at the port for the ferry to arrive to collect his guests and drive them to the glamping site.Being midweek early October it was quiet with only a few pods occupiedThe pods were first class, spotless, like a hotel room with everything you'd want.The location is perfect, a few minutes walk from the port and Kilronan village with a beach and amazing views out over the water.It was sad having to leave, really looking forward to returning.
Mike Foxtrot
Mike Foxtrot
20:43 01 Nov 17
great staff and lovely acommadations right beside sea.
liam gray
liam gray
00:15 20 Oct 17
Good place to camp, 10 euros a night, 2 euros shower, nice kitchen
Javier Garside
Javier Garside
10:36 25 Aug 17
A must-try experience on Inishmore. Amazing setting and fun design.
Matt Finn
Matt Finn
02:58 08 Aug 17
Free entry to Dun Aonghasa fort offered with stay. Brand new and excellent facilities at time of writing, great location for Kilronan with beach on the doorstep. Only downside was expensive (€2) shower tokens and painfully scalding water from the showers (solar heated, very hot day)! Otherwise excellent.
Daniel Keeling
Daniel Keeling
23:20 11 Jul 17
We stayed at Aran Camping Glamping over the weekend and found it a superb place for a break. The Units are tastefully designed and very clean. The water in the shower was hot, the kitchen room spacious, and it was close enough to the main village. Will definitely return!!
Ciara Duffy
Ciara Duffy
13:40 27 Feb 17

Aran Camping Glamping is conveniently located in the center of The Wild Atlantic Way. It is accessible from both Doolin (The Cliffs of Moher) and Rossaveal (Galway / Connemara).
Sligo Galway  -  Connemara -  Doolin -  Cork

The combination of fantastic Aran Islands self-catering Glamping and Camping accommodation, numerous outdoor activities and famous Irish hospitality makes Aran Camping & Glamping the perfect choice for a short break, corporate day out or simply a family holiday to remember on the Aran Islands.

Aran Camping & Glamping, Frenchman's Beach, Inis Mor, The Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland.

Tel: +33(0)86 189 5823
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