The Deserted Village

The Deserted Village at Slievemore on Achill Island consists of 80 to 100 stone cottages. They are located on a mile long stretch of road in one of the most sheltered areas on the Island, on the southern slopes of Slievemore Mountain. Almost all of the houses are all aligned in the same north-south direction.

It is thought that the village was occupied during several different stages in history, with some of the buildings being constructed on top of previous dwellings.

Through study of the field systems surrounding the Deserted Village, archaeological investigation, and historical research it has been established that settlement dates at least to the Anglo-Norman period (12th Century AD). The presence of a megalithic tomb close to the village, dating from the 3rd or 4th Century BC, indicates habitation in the area some 5000 years ago.

An annual Summer Archaeological School is held at the Deserted Village and it is hoped that this research will offer further insight into the history of the area. The abandoned stone cottages and surrounding fields – with potato ridges still clearly visible under the top layer of grass – provides a fascinating flavour of how life was lived in former times.