Dún Chonchubhair       Dún Chonchubhair north wall
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The Dúns of Aran:

DÚN Chonchubhair (or Conor)

I n i s   M e a i n

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Dún Chonchubhair structures
Dún Chonchubhair entrance from inside

Dún Conor is the biggest 'intact' Dún with more features than all the others. Its walls have 4 terraces and in some cases the outer terrace or wall is smaller than the inner terraces due to the wear and tear of over 5,500 years. When built the outside wall would probably have been the a few feet higher than it is today. While Dún Aengus and Dubh Cathair on Inis Mór would have been bigger forts when originally built, they have lost much to the cliffs and the sea. Dún Chonchubhair therefore, gives one a good idea of what the others would have looked like prior to their break up. Dún Chonchubair is oval in shape with massive walls and several terraces in it's inner enclosure. It is surrounded by a further impressive outside rampart on it's northern, eastern and southern sides.

In contrast with the cliff top forts, Dún Conor has been fortunate that it's situation on Inis Meain was central and away from a natural faultline. At the time of the building of these forts, however, the land of Aran would have been part of the mainland with the sea and coastline miles to the west and south. At that time, all of the Dúns would have looked much like Dún Conor is today i.e. situated on high rocky ground away from the coast commanding a view of a large lake to the north. Gradually over time the sea kept rising and overcame the land as it roared into Loch Lurgan from the south, west and north west. Dún Conor may have been battered but it survived. Dubh Cathair and Dún Aengus were not as fortunate. Being built in the middle of faultline, they both lost half or more of their original walls due to the ravages of the sea and the tensions caused by glacial rebound.

The west wall of Dún Conor is built atop a natural internal cliff and this gives greater height to the fort when seen from that angle. The positioning of the forts to take advantage of the topography was useful once it served their purposes. In this case powerful waves approaching the fort from the west would have had much of their power dissipated as they smacked into the natural cliff on this side.
The walls around the entrance to the fort are slowly being enveloped with ivy which will evenually dislodge the rocks. Compared to the more famous Dún Aengus, this fort, though equally facinating, is not nearly as well known or visited.


Number of enclosures: 2, inner enclosure and one surrounding enclosure wall
Inner enclosure wall height: 5m
Inner enclosure width at base: 5m
Entrance location: E


Dún Chonchubhair west wall looking north
Dún Chonchubhair inside view looking west