Archaeological/Heritage Holidays

Archaeological/Heritage Holidays

Riverhaven Self Catering Log Cabins are located in a very historically rich area.  There are a number of very significant heritage sites within a short driving distance such as Rathcorghan, Carrowmore and Carrowkeel.  There are also hundreds of listed heritage sites of interest both in the local area and within a short drive of Riverhaven.  A full list of the heritage sites in the area can be found at

Riverhaven has a total sleeping capacity of 30+ persons and is ideal for groups who wish to take in the archaeological richness of the area


On the grounds of Riversdale House at Kilteasheen, within which Riverhaven is located, there is a significant archaeological site dating back to the mid 13th Century known colloquially as “The Bishop’s Seat”.  Archaeological research was carried out on the site between the years 2002 and 2008 and the site is now regarded to being of national importance. Over 150 students from Sligo IT and St. Louis University have carried out their field surveys on the site and over 350 prehistoric and historic artefacts have been found. The image above shows some romanesque stone artefacts found on site.  More information on the archaeological research carried out at Kilteasheen can be found in the “Archaeology on Site” section of our website.


Rathcroghan is widely acknowledged by scholars as one of the most important medieval sites in Ireland.  Situated less than a half hours drive from Riverhaven this area is peppered with archaeologically significant sites.  Rathcroghan is the site of the largest complex of Celtic settlement in Europe and spans 10sq miles in total.  Rathcroghan is referenced in literature as a Royal Celtic site where inaugurations and rituals were performed by kingships of the Gallic Lords in medieval times and there are 70 prehistoric monuments and 80 ring forts altogether.

Rathcroghan contains many medieval field banks, the best examples of these can be found around “Reilig na Ri”.  Cruachain became key an area of grazing lands in the area and was possibly attached initially to the early medieval fort built at neighbouring Tulsk.  Another nearby feature is Carnfree mound which takes its significance from the face that it was used as the inauguration site of the O’Connor kings of Connacht.  Additionally there is evidence of small house clusters or ‘sean bhaile’ between the monuments that may well have been lived in long past the middle ages.  In the mid eighteenth century surveys by Gabriel Berangers highlighted a colour drawing of Cruachan mound. This work was continued by the ordnance survey in the 1830s who with local help assigned the names to the mounuments that are used to this day.


Carrowkeel is situated close to Lough Arrow and approximately 2km off the N4 Carrowkeel is a number of passage twombs situated on the top of the Bricklieve mountain and believed by experts to be 2000 years older than Newgrange.  Carrowkeel can be found by heading toward Sligo from Riverhaven and taking a left turn in Castelbaldwin village, following the signs for “Carrowkeel Passage Tombs”.  The mountain range containing Carrowkeel is called the Bricklieve Mountains, meaning the speckled mountainsin Irish.  This is thought to be a reference to the earlier appearance of the mountains when more of the quartz rock was exposed on the outside of the cairns, causing them to sparkle in the sun.  Close examination of stones at the base of some of the tombs will verify that there is a similarity to the quarts at Newgrange monument.   The Bricklieve mountains also contain the caves at Keish mountain which are really unique.

The tombs at Carrowkeel were opened by R.A.S. Macalister, Robert Lloyd Praeger in 1911.  Unfortunately the excavations by Macalister and Praeger left a lot to be desired in terms of contemporary archaeological methods.  Since Macalister and Praeger’s excavations very little archaeological works have taken place, making Carrowkeel one of the most interesting and authentic megalithic sites in Ireland.   The views from the Megalithic Tombs on Bricklieve expand to 7 counties and are really stunning.  The carpeted heather mountain top gives a feeling of peace and tranquility along with abounding expanse and beauty.  For those who love the outdoors a visit to the Bricklieve mountains is a must do while holidaying at Riverhaven.