Visit the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon
Visit the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon

Visit the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon

Make history come alive at the Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly House in Dungannon!

Are you interested in the history of Ireland? Then come on down, resurrect the past and learn all about it today. Explore a special place at the very heart of Ulster’s history. Here you’ll uncover extraordinary stories that shaped the history of Ireland. Stories of The O’Neill, who was head of one of Ireland’s most powerful dynasties. Stories that stay with you. The Hill of The O’Neill is unique. It has a history that stretches back 2,000 years to the Iron Age and to a royal Druid called Geannain. It was the medieval centre of Ulster, and it was fought over by Gaelic and Plantation military commanders. This hill has played a pivotal role in the history of these islands, so there is no better place to understand the history of Ulster, and eventually Northern Ireland, than the Hill of The O’Neill in Dungannon!

How much is it to access the Hill of the O’Neill?

You’re in luck; access to the public park is completely free! However, there is a small fee for access to the amazing exhibition, as can be seen below. The exhibition is well worth checking out; you’ll learn so much about the history of Ireland and the significance of this particular location.

From the hill, you can clearly see the domed drumlins of Tyrone, gleaming Lough Neagh, the Sperrin Mountains and the Mournes, and onwards as far as the counties of Cavan and Monaghan, part of the province of Ulster in O’Neill’s times. However, if you want to see it, even more, you can ascend the Viewing Tower to the glass-walled gallery at the top! This is the view Hugh O’Neill himself would have savoured from the battlements of his fortified tower house.

The end of Gaelic life in Ireland

The Hill of the O’Neill was one of the centrepieces of the Nine Years’ War from 1593 to 1603, the rebellion against the English monarchy led by Hugh O’Neill. After fending the English and Scottish off multiple times already, he finally suffered a defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, where he fled to Spain. This was a pivotal turning point in the history of Ireland, as it gave way for Scottish and English settlers to colonise their land and thus marking the beginning of an end to the Gaelic way of life.

The centrepiece of your visit is the incredible exhibition in Ranfurly House. This tells the story of the Flight of The Earls and the Plantation of Ulster, and the important role that Dungannon played in these two historical events that would forever change these islands, marking the transition from the old Gaelic world into the modern Ireland of today. As you stroll through the exhibition you’ll see portraits of the key players, maps, costumes and archive accounts of their many battles. You’ll also get an insight into their daily lives, with inventories of the riches of the chieftains, their vast lands and finery. You’ll hear the sad tale of Hugh O’Neill’s youngest child, Conn. This is just one of the eye-opening tales your guide will share with you as you move through the tour.

It is strongly recommended you pre-book your tour as spaces are strictly limited.

  • Tour times are Wednesday to Saturday
    • 10.30
    • 12:00
    • 2:00
    • 3:30
  • Tour times Sunday
    • 1:00
    • 2:30
    • 4:00

Access to the park is free, however, there is a small fee for the exhibition.

  • Adults – £3.50
  • Concession – £2.50
  • Under 16s – FREE!
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