Heritage hot spots History, nature, art, environment


DALKEY CASTLE AND HERITAGE CENTRE: What is it?Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre is a historical site in Dalkey, in south Co Dublin, that includes the remains of the 10th-century St Begnet’s Church and graveyard, the 14th-century fortified town house and a modern heritage centre.

Why visit?The centre offers a potted history of the area from 700 up to the 20th century. St Begnet’s Church, for instance, was linked to St Kevin’s Monastery in Glendalough, Co Wicklow. The village of Dalkey, or Deilginis, became a thriving urban centre in the 1300s, when goods were offloaded from ships moored in the deep waters of Dalkey Sound and transported by land to Dublin. Seven fortified castles (of which two remain: Dalkey or Goat Castle and Archbold’s Castle) were built at this time, both as storage depots and as residences for the merchants. Deilg Inis Living History gives visitors a flavour of life in the 1400s on their dramatised tours of the castle, which go right up to the battlements.

Why now?Discover Dalkey’s Literary Gems, the current programme of rehearsed readings, short plays and dramatisations, celebrates famous local writers. Today the playwright Shay Linehan will conjure up characters to play scenes from the work of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Hugh Leonard, Flann O’Brien, Maeve Binchy, John Millington Synge and Joseph O’Connor. In the run-up to Bloomsday next weekend, the shows from Monday to Thursday will feature humourous scenes from Ulysses. The Dalkey Schoolroom scene from the novel will be dramatised at 3.30pm next Saturday, followed by a Joycean walk.

The season will end with a newly discovered play by Hugh Leonard called Magicality, performed on June 18th, 21st and 23rd. Tickets cost €8 for each show, followed by a guided literary walk in Dalkey at 3pm on show days. Bookings on 01-2858366 or at maeve@dalkeycastle.com.

Guided historical and literary walks leave from the centre in June, July and August. Events during Dalkey Book Festival from June 15th to 17th will also be held in the centre. See dalkeybookfestival.org.

How do I get there?Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre is on Castle Street, a five-minute walk from Dalkey Dart station. By car, take the N11 from central Dublin. From the M50, take exit 16, at Cherrywood. The centre is open 10am-6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 11am-6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. Admission €7 adults, €5 children, €20 families; 01-2858366, dalkeycastle.com.

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