Excavations at House Number 6, Slievemore Deserted Village, in 2013

Situated close to the western end of the deserted village at Slievemore, House 6 was excavated by the Achill Archaeological Field School in April-June 2013. Five trenches were excavated within and around the house, which appears to date to the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, since it does not appear on the Ordnance Survey 6″ map for the area which dates to the mid-nineteenth century. The house, in architectural terms, appears to be similar to earlier houses lying within the core of the village to the east, as it is orientated north-south, has a single doorway in the east wall which if offset towards the ‘lower’ (i.e. southern) end of the house and has no windows, but it does retain evidence for mural storage alcoves at the upper end and a half-loft at the lower end. The excavation in the house interior (Trench 1) uncovered a well-preserved paved area (2m x 1.6m) in the northwestern corner of the house, while a stone-built drain separated the upper and lower areas of the interior and may have separated a byre area to the south from the area reserved for human habitation to the north. A hearth was uncovered on the floor at the base of the north gable and the external continuation of the stone-built drain was uncovered outside the doorway of the house in Trench 4. The northern and southern gables of the house appear to have been supported by low buttresses, but the northern example appeared, upon excavation, to have also served as a water barrier to redirect water from the hillside to the north away from the northern gable.

Plan of House 6 (Sherlock 2013).

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