Archaeology on Site



Archaeology at Riverhaven

Since 2002 a research project and archaeological excavation has been taking place on the Burke family farm at Kilteasheen, Knockvicar.  Kilteasheen archaeological site is a complex, multi-period site where Neolithic, Bronze Age and Medieval artefacts have been found during excavations between 2002 and 2007.  The site is commonly known as the “Bishops Seat” on Riversdale farm adjoining Riverhaven Self-catering.  References to “The Bishops Seat” can be found on Ordinance Survey maps dating back as far as 1829 when the first Ordinance Survey of Ireland was carried out.  References to the “cúirt” at Kilteasheen are also contained in the Annals of Lough Key and the Annals of Connaught which date back to 1253.

The six years of archaeological survey and excavation at Kilteasheen by students and professors of Sligo IT and St. Louis University, USA show that this site is extremely significant.  The site is regarded to be of national importance and is categorised as a high status medieval site, on which stands the ruin of a medieval “Hall House” (“cúirt) built in 1253 AD by the Bishop of Elphin Thomas O’Connor, cousin of the then King of Connaght Félim O’Connor.  Hundreds of historic artefacts have been recovered from many medieval contexts and extensive field walking indicating the intensive use of the site during prehistory.

The Burke family have facilitated this archaeological research at Kilteasheen since its commencement in 2002 and have assisted as much as possible in the process.  Over 150 students fromSt. Louis Universityand Sligo IT have had the opportunity to carry out their field surveys on the site, many of whom keep in contact with the Burke family.  An educational DVD documenting the actual excavation in progress, along with interviews from Professor Tom Finan and Christopher Read was commissioned by the Burke family and a copy of this DVD is available on request to guests who may be interested in learning about the archaeology on site at Riverhaven.

More information on archaeology at Riverhaven can be found at