Hill of Allen

The Hill of Allen

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Name The Hill of Allen County Kildare Nearest Town Naas Access Road R410 About The Hill of Allen is a volcanic hill situated in the west of County Kildare, beside the small village of Allen.

According to legend, it was the seat of the hunter-warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill and his army known as the Fianna.

The site is currently part-owned by a large quarry operator and extensive excavation has noticeably changed the profile of the hill much to the chagrin of the local community and heritage bodies.

The hill is situated at the eastern-most point of the Bog of Allen, hence the name.

According to legend, Fionn Mac Cumhaill had a fortress on the hill and used the surrounding flatlands as training grounds for his warriors.

In 722, the Battle of Allen was fought between the Leinstermen, led by Murchad Mac Brian Mut, King of Leinster, and the forces of Fergal Mac Maele Duin, the High King of Ireland, The battle, won by the former, was waged in close proximity to the hill.

In 1859, Sir Gerard George Aylmer, the 9th Baronet of Donadea began building a circular tower on the top of the hill, which was completed in 1863.

The tower was considered a folly (a building without purpose or use, or foolish construction) and the names of the workmen are inscribed on the steps.

During the construction of the tower a large coffin containing human bones was unearthed which were said to be those of Fionn Mac Cumhaill.

These were re-interred under the site.