Family Day at The Black Fort

Less promoted than the islands main attraction Dun Aengus Fort, the Black Fort offers as much and more.  It’s less visited and one can easily wander off in any direction that catches their whimsy rather than having to stay on a single path until reaching the destination.  So wander we did and an incredible day of fun hiking and exploring is what we had.

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The adventure begins.

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Can you see the heron’s nests in the side of this cliff?

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Almost to The Black Fort

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A beautiful memorial seat and table for a son lost at sea.

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A breathtaking panoramic view.  Rain clouds and sunshine all at once.

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A memorial cairn.

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The Black Fort straight ahead.

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A play break.

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Stones growing out of stones (cheval de frise) and…

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…children growing out of the stones.

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The Black Fort

The Black Fort dates back some 3000ish years, somewhere between the Bronze and the Iron Age. There’s not certainty about whether it was built for ceremonial or defensive reasons. The curved patterns of the inner walls suggest ceremonial but the cheval de frise that my children are ‘growing’ out from suggest defensive.  Johnny who was a wonderful guide on our visit despite being a ball of nerves with us all climbing and peering over cliff edges.

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Inside the fort and…

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…atop the Fort.

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Adrien took this shot of Johnny and me.

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Margaret Maeve and Séan Proinsias having some fun.

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Self timer–we had the entire fort to ourselves.

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Lobster pots

sowing spuds

Hard at work sowing spuds but happily posing for my picture.

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Kilronan Village pictured from just at the base of our hiking trail.

When we got home,  I took a two hour nap.  Bliss.  I awoke to Johnny just finishing barbecuing dinner.  After eating, we all watched a movie together before heading to bed.  It was a brilliant family day.

If you ever make it out to The Aran Islands, The Black Fort should be top of your list to explore.  That is, right after you stop by our house for a visit and a cup of tea.

Melissa Xx

49 Comments

    • Thanks for such a nice comment Denis. You’re right with your instinct about the age of the fort; it dates back some 3000ish years, somewhere between the Bronze and the Iron Age. There’s not certainty about whether it was built for ceremonial or defensive reasons. The curved patterns of the inner walls suggest ceremonial but the cheval de frise that my children are peaking out from suggest defensive. This information was passed on to me from my husband Johnny who was a wonderful guide on our visit.

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  1. I want to jump in the car to the ferry right NOW! What a fabulous fun family walk you have taken us on Melissa. The photos are glorious. I really feel like I came along with you and joined in the fun. I will look over those photos again and again – just gorgeous. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sandra. I was hesitant to post so many and there were so many more I could have added as well. I so love that you can appreciate the beauty via the photos because, as you well know, nothing compares to being and seeing first hand. It was one of the most amazing family days we have had in some time.

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    • Ah, I hesitated slightly honestly, but then again, it’s hard not to share such beauty. The solitude is incomparable isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment.

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  2. singersong says:

    Hi Melissa. Great post. I loved the Black Fort as well. Your photos are great too. My son is visiting in a week and I want to take him to the islands. Can we come visit you? It’s been too long anyway. By the way I absolutely love your cover pic with your tribe playing and dancing. Perhaps I should bring my fiddle and we can play a few tunes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely!! Let me know what dates you are planning and I will request a day off from work. The cover pic is class isn’t it, thank you! Regards bringing your fiddle…I couldn’t imagine you travelling anywhere without it! 😉 Would be great fun for you to play with them. Look forward to meeting your son. Xx

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  3. Roz Hill says:

    I so much enjoy reading about your family and lifestyle. Sticking by your values and creating wonderful days out like this. To be achievable it’s hard work too, look at all those spuds. Well done! 💚💛💙❤️💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a nice break from the hard work at home alright. We need to be sowing our own spuds too. That farmer was very inspiring, working so hard with such a big broad smile on his face. It’s not a job you want if you don’t enjoy the labour as it is mostly labour isn’t it?!

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