Disert is a complex archaeological landscape located in the townland of Disert in Co Donegal. The site consists of a holy well dedicated to St Colmcille surrounded by a ritual pilgrim landscape that includes an early ecclesiastical enclosure, penitential cairns and a cillin (children’s graveyard).
With the current Covid-19 situation we had to cancel our annual prayers/mass and social event to commemorate St Colmcille’s Day and also our planned archaeological excavation for 2020.
For Heritage Week, 15-23 August 2020, the Disert Heritage Group is proud to present a series of short videos about the connections people have to the wonderful site of Disert. Each day over the course of Heritage Week these will be shared on Facebook and here on our website – so make sure you check in daily to see them – click on the image below.
We had a great time last year with the first season of archaeological excavation at Disert. The team included community members as well as students from IT Sligo and US students from the Institute of Field Research. We also had a number of events – prayers for St Colmcille’s day in June, archaeological field trips to Donegal and Sligo, a guest lecture by Dr Brian Lacey, guided tours of the excavation and a heritage week talk on the results of the excavation.
Here’s a great 360 tour of Disert created by Malcolm Houston. It works like Google Street view. Click through to Google maps. Note that there are 360s of 11 spots at Disert so zoom in on the map view and then select one of the little blue circles.
Check out our great video about the site, created by Shauna Boyle:
In 2016 we received Heritage Council funding for the creation of a Conservation Management Plan for Disert. In summer 2016 there was a geophysical and archaeological survey of the site, as well as an oral history project and Heritage Week event. Following on from this success, in 2017 and 2018 we received further funding from the Heritage Council and from Councillor John Campbell’s Member’s Development Fund (Donegal Co Co) to allow us to implement the actions in the plan. This has included works to improve access, signage and the appearance of the site as well as more geophysical and archaeological survey and the publication of our 2018 book. You can see the the results of the work on the Plan and Project Outcomes page. In 2019 we received funding through IT Sligo, California State University LA, the Institute for Field Research, Donegal Co. Co Development Fund Initiative and Donegal Co. Co. Heritage Office. We are grateful to them and to all our local sponsors.