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Weekly Field Trips

Field trips to local sites and monuments take place each Wednesday throughout the summer.

Week 1

Tour of Slievemore Deserted Village and Napoleonic Signal Tower

A walking tour from Dooagh to Slievemore. We head out along the Old Slievemore Road visiting an interesting farm building and examining the blanket bog along the way. After reaching the high point of the road and viewing the Deserted Village from a distance we head up to the Napoleonic Signal Tower, used to signal the approach of a French Fleet. We then head down through the quartz quarry to explore some industrial archaeology before heading into the Deserted Village where we will explore what life was like on Achill in the 19th century. Finally, we head down to the graveyard and examine the rather concealed remains of an Early Medieval church site.

Week 2

Tour of North East Achill

This tour begins at the Megalithic Tomb group on Slievemore, where we will visit well-preserved examples of a Court tomb and a Portal Tomb and several other less well-preserved sites, the exact nature of which remains unclear. We then head to Achill Mission in Dugort and discuss the controversial history and legacy of this important 19th-century organisation. We then head to the beach at Dugort to (hopefully!) see the Bronze Age preserved forest in the intertidal zone and stop for lunch on the beach. In the afternoon we head out across the bog to view Loughannaderriga Crannog in Dookinella.

Week 3

Tour of Keem Bay

Keem Bay at the western end of Achill is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland. This tour begins at the Coast Guard Station and then explores the remains of the 19th century village located behind it. We then walk up to the ruins of Captain Boycotts’ house, one of the most notorious of Irish Land Agents. We then climb the high pass to visit the wonderfully preserved Booley Village at Bunnowna and then return along the high cliffs. We then descend back to the bay via the well-constructed granary and finally hit the beach!

Week 4

Tour of Kildavnet and Achill Beg

This tour explores the southern part of Achill, beginning with the wonderful 15th Century Tower House and Old Church at Kildavnet. We then head down to the Cloughmore Pier where we will travel to the small island of Achill Beg in a traditional skin boat, a currach. Achill Beg was abandoned in the mid-twentieth century and has a wide array of archaeological sites including 19th and 20th-century buildings, a late prehistoric shell midden, a large Early Medieval ecclesiastical enclosure, and several promontory forts. At the end of the day, we will return to Dooagh via the spectacular Atlantic Drive.

Week 5

Surveying Expedition to a selected local archaeological site. During the day we will undertake a series of surveying exercises, including Electronic Survey (EDM), Photographic Survey and GPS Survey.

Week 6

Walking tour to Annagh

This final tour will head out through the deep bog north of Dooagh towards Annagh, Theresa’s favourite location on the island. Descending the only surviving path down a series of steep cliffs we will arrive at Annagh Booley Village, where we will examine a Booley Village with a wide variety of building types, one complete with a mysterious underground passage. We then descend to the lowest glacial (Corrie) lake in Ireland and head around to a 19th-century fishery and the remains of a Portal Tomb. Finally, we will head out onto Saddle Head, a small peninsula protruding out from the northern side of the island, to see what we can see …

The Field School reserves the right to cancel or alter any or all Field Trips in the event of inclement weather or for any other reason deemed necessary by the Management.