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Buncrana

Trip Planner Europe  /  Ireland  /  County Donegal  /  Buncrana
(4.5/5 based on 600+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: museums, beaches, parks
Buncrana is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is beside Lough Swilly on the Inishowen peninsula, northwest of Derry and north of Letterkenny. In the 2011 census, the population was 6,839 making it the second most populous town in County Donegal, after Letterkenny, and the largest in Inishowen.Buncrana is the historic home of the O'Doherty clan and originally developed around the defensive tower known as O'Doherty's Keep at the mouth of the River Crana. The town moved to its present location just south of the River Crana when George Vaughan built the main street in 1718.The town was a major centre for the textile industry in County Donegal from the 19th century until the mid-2000s (decade).HistoryO'Doherty's KeepOn the northern bank of the River Crana as it enters Lough Swilly sits the three-story O'Doherty's Keep, which is the only surviving part of an original 14th-century Norman castle. The first two levels of the keep were built after 1333. In 1601 the O'Doherty's Keep was described as being a small, two-story castle, inhabited by Conor McGarret O'Doherty. In 1602 the third level was added and it was upgraded by Hugh Boy O'Doherty as an intended base for Spanish military aid that hoped to land at Inch.The keep was burned by Crown forces in 1608 in reprisal for the rebellion of Sir Cahir O'Doherty who sacked and razed the city of Derry. After Cahir O'Doherty was killed at the Battle of Kilmacrennan, he was attaindered and his land seized. The keep was granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, who then leased it to Englishman Henry Vaughan, where it was repaired and lived in by the Vaughan family until 1718.
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