Dalkey Castle History
Dalkey Castle is one of the seven fortified town houses/castles of Dalkey. The castles were built to store the goods which were off-loaded in Dalkey during the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin. The castles all had defensive features to protect the goods from being plundered. These are all still visible on the site: the Machicolation, the Murder Hole, the Battlements with its Warders’ Walk, and slit arrow-loop windows. In Dalkey Castle, you will see a fine example of barrel-vaulted ceiling and traces of the wicker work that supported it. Many niches have been exposed on the walls where precious goods may have been stored. The Castle is an integral entrance to both the Heritage Centre and Dalkey Town Hall.
From the mid-1300s to the late 1500s. Large Anglo-Norman ships could not access Dublin, as the river Liffey was silted up. They could anchor safely in the deep waters of Dalkey Sound. The ships were lightened and the goods were either brought by road to the seven fortified Town Houses/Castles in Dalkey or went by shell boat into Ringsend. The Castle is the only one to survive intact today. Archbold’s across the street is in ruins.
Dalkey Castle was called Goat Castle in the 1600s when the Cheevers family of Monkstown Castle were the owners.
In the mid-1800s the former living quarters, upstairs, became a meeting room for the Dalkey Town Commissioners. It continued as a municipal meeting room until 1998 when it was incorporated into Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. Today, part of the Living History tour takes place there. There is a re-creation of the stocks that were across the street where the entrance to the church is today.