2 APRIL 2023
All going well I will visit Dalkey again on Wednesday and explore the area in greater detail … I am assuming the the the weather will be suitable.
One of the patron saints of Dalkey is St. Begnet, a probable seventh-century figure. A ruined church and a holy well on Dalkey Island are named for her, as is another ruined church near the town centre.
The main settlement was founded as a Viking community and became an active port during the Middle Ages.
Dalkey developed increasing strategic value as a port for bulk shipments bound for Dublin during the 15th century. The channel between Dalkey Island and the mainland provided ideal conditions for unloading galleons carrying heavy cargo due to its depth (relative to Dublin Bay) and its sheltered position. The treacherous shallows of Dublin Bay prevented direct shipments into the city centre, making Dalkey an ideal access point for trade.
Although seven 15th-16th century castles were originally built in the area, by 1837 it was noted (in Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland) that:
Four of its ancient castles have been entirely destroyed, and the remains of three others which have been long dismantled, convey striking indications of their former importance; one has been converted into a private dwelling, another is used as a store, and the third as a carpenters shop.
Dalkey’s remaining Norman castle is now in use as a heritage centre and town hall.