Dalkey and its castles

Dalkey and its castles

From the original seven in the area Dalkey has managed to retain two of its castles in quite good condition. Dating these again proves problematic. They are reputed to date from the fifteenth century but were possibly built earlier. Both Castles are located almost opposite one another on the Main Street.

The first one is known as Goat's Castle and has been used as the Town Hall since 1869. Beside it is the old graveyard together with a church dedicated to Saint Begnet. This castle is in a good state of repair and as well as housing the town hall, it also acts as a heritage centre.

There is a murder hole in the castle and information about the other defence modes used at the time.

Located on the first floor of the building are models of Dalkey's transport systems ranging from the atmospheric railway to trams.

The other one, Archbold's Castle, is not open to the public but it is in a good state of repair also apart from the battlements. Houses were built nearby and the pavements around the castle were redesigned at the time.

The Anglo- Norman Conquest could not be sustained. One of the main reasons for this was because they alienated the Irish whose lands they had confiscated. The Irish were in a position to launch several attacks on the Norman lords, thereby weakening their position. Often the landlords were absent and this made their position even less tenable.

To try and remedy the situation the Anglo-Normans built up a boundary around their designated territory and they aimed to protect this. The area became known as the Pale and under the 'Subsudesed Castles Act' passed in the fifteenth century, a grant of £10 was provided to construct castles to defend it.

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