County Cavan has been inhabited for over 5.000 years from Stone Age times until the present and there is plenty of evidence of this throughout the County especially in the West. In the 6th century St. Feidhlim founded the Church at Kilmore, the Castle at Lough Oughter was founded in the middle ages, and in the 17th century ‘Planters’ from England and Scotland laid the foundations for many of our towns and villages such as Beltubet, Killeshandra, and Virginia. Our Archaeological Heritage is the surviving remains of human presence in the County from early times. Any objects, materials, sites, and structures from past times are all part of our Archaeological Heritage.
County Cavan is abounding with evidence of early human settlement, archaeology as a study enables us to understand how these humans interacted with their environment, how their societies worked, and their development into the present day. Archaeological remains help us understand our origins as a society, are a connection to our distant past, an educational tool, as well as, a tourist resort.
Our archaeological heritage consists of known and as yet unidentified sites, monuments, objects, and environmental evidence and includes round towers, high crosses, burial sites, ringforts, tower houses, fulacht fia, raths, court tombs, wedge tombs, cairns, earthworks, abbeys, and souterrains.
A monument can be identified as a man-made structure or group of structures or a natural structure altered by man. They may consist of sites where there are no visible features, but where below surface archaeological remains are known or expected to exist.
The Minister of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) is responsible for the protection of our archaeological heritage, including the licensing of archaeological excavations through the exercise of powers under the National Monuments Act 1930 to 2004. The National Monuments Service (NMS) of the DoEHLG have the responsibility for their designation of national monuments.