Slievemore Deserted Village, Achill Island
The Deserted Village at Slievemore consists of the remains of approximately 80 - 100 stone cottages located along a mile long stretch of road on the southern slopes of Slievemore mountain. While some of these dwellings have been occupied as summer 'booley' homes within living memory, the area is also rich in archaeological artefacts including megalithic tombs dating from the Neolithic period 5,000 years ago. The local field systems and site remnants indicate that settlement in this area dates from at least early Mediaval times.
Login with facebook
Slievemore is the largest and most recently abandoned of several 'booley' settlements on the island. The practice of booleying, or transhumance, was continued on Achill long after it was abandoned in other parts of the country and western Europe. Booleying is the the practice of living in different locations during the summer and winter periods, to allow cattle to graze in summer pasture. Within living memory the cottages at Slievemore were used as summer dwellings families from the villages of Dooagh and Pollagh though the larger story of Slievemore Deserted Village is more complex than the abandonment of booleying.
The Deserted Village is a haunting reminder of times past. Spend an hour meandering from cottage to cottage along the ancient track and through adjacent fields with their lazybed ridges and furrows and you are on a journey back in time. Sheltered under the slopes of Slievemore remote from the 21st century, this tranquil corner of a remote island is a perfect place for quiet reflection and remembrance.
The annual Archaeological Field School at the Deserted Village under the guidance of a local expert, hopes that research will yield yet further clues as to the history and former inhabitants of this most evocative of villages.