About Dalkey Castle


dalkey history

Deilg Inis – Thorn Island

The town of Dalkey takes its name from Dalkey Island. Originally, the island was named Deilg Inis which means Thorn Island in Irish. This was later changed to Deilg–ei by the Vikings, Dalk-ei by the Normans and later anglicised to Dalkey.

Dalkey grew as a small village around the Early Christian Church of St Begnet. Its later growth was influenced by the anchorage provided for large Anglo-Norman ships in Dalkey Sound.

Seven fortified Town House Castles were built from the 1390s onwards, along Castle Street to store the goods. At that time, Dalkey comprised of cabins, a few inns, burgages and gardens. It rose to prominence again with the excavation of granite in Dalkey Quarry from 1817.


In 1844, a new invention, the Atmospheric Railway ran from Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) to Dalkey for 11 years. It was replaced by the steam train going to Bray. By 1865, Dalkey had its own administration. Horse-drawn trams came in 1879, followed by electric ones in 1896. The Town Hall was built in 1893. Dalkey could now be called a town.

Findlater’s, the first grocery store, opened in 1897. The Carnegie Library opened in 1902. James Joyce taught in the Clifton School in 1904. Dalkey became a heritage town in 1995. The Heritage Centre was opened in 1998 and it has won numerous awards at national level. Today, Dalkey is a thriving small town. It wins many awards in the National Tidy Towns competitions. There are many writers and creative artists living in the area. It is a much sought-after place to live.

Meet The Team

A dedicated team of Tour Guides and Volunteers ensure the successful running of the Living History Experience, Guided Walks and any other events at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. Community Employment (CE) and TUS provide personnel who are trained professionally in-house as tour guides, supported by Department of Social Protection.

Margaret Dunne

Margaret Dunne

Manager & Festival Director ECHOES

Liz Crossen

Elizabeth Crossen

Reception & Training Supervisor

Tony Greene

Tony Greene

Reception Supervisor

Maeve Kingston

Maeve Kingston


Daniel O Brien

Daniel O’Brien


The Team from Dalkey Castle on a Research Trip to Dalkey Island

Dalkey Heritage - Team from Dalkey Castle on Research Trip to Dalkey Island

living history theatre company

Deilg Inis

Supported by Community Services Programme of Pobal, Deilg Inis is engaged at Dalkey Castle to provide a live theatre performance with professional actors as part of every guided tour. The company is directed and led by the Manager, Mr Michael Heavey.


community space

Dalkey Town Hall

In the early 1890s, Dalkey Town Hall was built onto Goat Castle to host community events. The ground floor of the castle became the Foyer to the new Town Hall. In the 1860s, the upstairs room of the castle was used as a meeting room for the Dalkey Town Commissioners.

The building has hosted ‘dramatic’ events since the early 1900s. Eamon De Valera addressed a rally here in the 1930s. Hugh Leonard frequently referred to it in his memoir Home Before Night and in his play A Life the young Desmond delivers a speech in the Town Hall.

It has been a dance hall, a theatre, a voting venue, a library, a temporary Church, a sports arena and continues to be a valuable community space with dance classes, exercise sessions and community plays. The All-Ireland award winning drama group, Dalkey Players stage their productions here.

Awards & Accreditations

Dalkey Castle won the Overall National Heritage Award in 2016 and CIE Award of Excellence and TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 from customer satisfaction surveys. Tours consistently receive glowing 5-star reviews from our visitors.

CIE 2019 Awards

CIE 2019 Award

Official Photo National Heritage Award 2016

National Heritage Award 2016

What our Visitors say...

  • star rating  We had a fantastic time during the history tour. The actors are so entertaining and passionate about what they do - they made the experience a true pleasure. The history... read more

    avatar thumb justpeachy11
    October 15, 2022

    star rating  Do it! - Alot more entertaining than I expected. The actors were funny while giving an authentic presentation of life in medieval Dalky.

    October 9, 2022

    star rating  Dalkey Castle is an interesting place to visit with a permanent local history exhibition and theatre performances and other events throughout the year. ECHOES in October, celebrating local author, the... read more

    Caroline M
    October 2, 2022
  • star rating  Visiting the castle is well worth it. They make the most of the place with actors in costumes telling you about the life in the castle. Also, there's a short... read more

    September 29, 2022

    star rating  Went on a Saturday and there was about 20 people altogether for the tour. Was brilliant from start to finish, the actors really make the experience.

    September 11, 2022

    star rating  Thought this might be the usual mundane castle tour but we were pleasantly surprised, very informative tour, NOT boring, learnt a lot, and they used actors to portray historical characters... read more

    laura g
    September 11, 2022
  • star rating  The guides were highly knowledgeable and willing to answer all the questions I had. As a historian, that made me happy.
    The actors did a fine job, and used... read more

    September 7, 2022

    star rating  The Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre is amazing. I really enjoyed the living history tour. This makes the guided tour to be much more exciting. It is an unforgettable experience.... read more

    August 22, 2022

    star rating  Really enjoyable tour. The guide was lovely and the actors brought the castle to life at the same time as being very amusing. Very well pitched for... read more

    Pauline S
    August 15, 2022
map of ireland with dalkey location as map marker

Directions & Transport

Dalkey is on the coast, just south of Dublin City Centre. The DART journey is a relaxing experience travelling along the beautiful coast line with magnificent sea views.

Dalkey is approx. 30-35 minutes from Connolly, Tara or Pearse stations (travelling south).

Dalkey Castle postcode for Google Maps is A96 DE61.


Opening Times

We are open six days a week, all year round.
Closed every Tuesday.

January - May & September - December

Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 17.30
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 11.00 - 17.30

June, July & August

Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 18.00
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 11.00 - 18.00

Dalkey Heritage - INFORMATION ICONS - Homepage - Tickets & Info - Layers of Stone

Tickets & Info

ADULTS €13.95*


CHILD (4-12 YEARS) €10.50*


*Plus Booking Fees


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