Archaeological Heritage

Archaeological Heritage

County Longford has a rich and varied archaeological heritage, which is the study of past societies through the examination of material remains left by human activity. 

Archaeological Monument

Under The Heritage Act, 1995 an archaeological monument includes the following, whether above or below the surface of the ground or the water and whether affixed or not affixed to the ground:

  • any artificial or partly artificial building, structure or erection or group of such buildings, structures or erections,
  • any cave, stone, or other natural product, whether or not forming part of the ground, that has been artificially carved, sculpted or worked upon or which (where it does not form part of the place where it is) appears to have been purposely put or arranged in position,
  • any, or any part of any, prehistoric or ancient - tomb, grave or burial deposit, or ritual, industrial or habitation site, 
  • any place comprising the remains or traces of any such building, structure or erection, any such cave, stone or natural product or any such tomb, grave, burial deposit or ritual, industrial or habitation site, situated on land or in the territorial waters of the State, but dies not include any building, or part of any building, that is habitually used for ecclesiastical purposes.

Record of Monuments and Places

The Record of Monuments and Places contains all known sites and monuments are identified and listed for protection. This is a statutory inventory of sites protected under the National Monuments Acts.

County Longford's Record of Monuments and Places is a set of six inch maps of the county with an accompanying index which shows all the sites, monuments and zones of archaeological potential, recorded to date and protected in the county. The inventory concentrates on pre 1700AD sites.

The Record of Monuments and Places is available from Longford County Council Planning Office, and Longford Libraries and Heritage Office.

The Record of Monuments and Places can also be viewed online via the National Monuments Service's Historic Environment Viewer or via the mapping of the sites onto PDF

A map of the sites on the Record of Monuments and Places can be found in Appendix 6 of the Longford County Development Plan 2021-2027.

Only a small section of County Longford ancient monuments are in state ownership. The remainder are protected by the state under the National Monuments Acts but the care and preservation of these features depends largely on the interests and respect of the individual landowner. For more on this, read National Monuments in State Care: Ownership and Guardianship.

Works to or Near a Recorded Monument

When the owner or occupier of a property, or any other person proposes to carry out, or to cause, or to permit the carrying out of any work at or in relation to a Recorded Monument or a Registered Monument they are required to give notice in writing to the Minister two months before commencing that work. This is to allow the National Monuments Service time consider the proposed works and how best to proceed to further the protection of the monument.

Any notification of works at or in relation to a Recorded or Registered Monument should be given using the Ministerial Notification Form and forwarded to marked 'Notification under the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004'.

Graveyard Survey

An extensive graveyard survey with upstanding remains was carried out by Jimmy Lennon in conjunction with the County Longford Heritage Office.

Archaeological Objects

The National Museum of Ireland is the repository of the national collection of archaeological objects. As there is no county museum or designated repository in County Longford all archaeological objects that are discovered should, by law, be deposited with the National Museum, as they belong to the State. Under the National Monuments Amendment Act 1994, when an item is found, you should contact the National Museum of Ireland within 48 hours.