In 1993 Dalkey
was selected as one of the twenty nine Bord Failte Heritage towns
in the country. Located in the town hall next to St. Begnet's
church, the new Heritage Centre will serve as a central focus
for the historical and cultural development of the town and will
convey to visitors the richness of this unique area.
Dalkey will be promoted as a town to return to, a town with a wide variety of interesting things to see and stories to tell. There are also plans to expand and develop this location as a centre for arts, heritage, local drama and community group activities.
The themes developed in the Heritage Centre will come to life as the historical locations are experienced by the visitor as part of the town trails. The focus of the exhibition will be based on local knowledge and local resources. The presentations will take the form of display panels, audio-visual installations and models.
A program of guided tours, special event days and craft demonstrations is also proposed for the Heritage Centre.
Although Dalkey's origins can be traced back over 5000 years, it was during the early Christian period that significant development can be seen such as St. Begets church, the graveyard, the Rathdown Slab and the church on the island.
The evolution of the town during the Medieval and Norman periods established much of the character of the town today and was followed by the development of the town and port during the height of the Anglo Norman era.
Later, with the expansion of trade and markets within the town, a strong merchant class established itself, earning Dalkey the name of the Town with the Seven Castles. Two of the castles from this period still survive: Goat and Archbold's Castles.
Dalkey continued to play an important strategic role during the wars of the Napoleonic period and later, with the coming of the railway, Dalkey became one of the most fashionable places to live. The most elegant and finest of the Victorian and Regency architecture is layered with earlier architecture to create the fascinating and beautiful townscape that is Dalkey today.