Yesterday, my plan was to go to one of the nearby towns, but as it was cloudy and most likely to rain, I decided to do an indoor activity instead. A while back, I come across this castle museum and what interested me is they have life-acting performances, reenacting the past. I think the only time I have seen something similar was when I spend a summer in Williamsburg, VA, USA.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take too many photos, but a few with my phone, but a few more articles are coming for Dalkey, as there are quite a few activities to do and places to visit there.
Where is Dalkey? – it is one of the south-east suburban areas in Dublin, a small seaside resort with historic scenery. The settlement was founded by the Vikings, which, due to its location, became a popular port during the middle ages.
I went just for a short time to visit the heritage castle and, if some sun shows, to walk around the harbour 🙂 Uvi, I was able to do just the castle tour for about an hour. It was an interesting and educational visit.
The tour starts with a video about the town’s history, how it was built and how over the years became a popular settlement. One of the main reasons people started settling there was that ships were unable to unload their cargo in Dublin due to shallow bay waters, and they found they can do this in Dalkey. From here the goods were transported by land to Dublin city, and this is how 7 castles were built. Today, ruins can be seen from a few of them, but just one, where the tour is held is well reserved.
As I mentioned above, what makes this castle visit different, is that they have costumed actors reenacting middle ages life and interacting with you. It was interesting to listen and learn something new, and their accents were so authentic. The visitor group was small, so it was perfect as the place is not so big. You are walked through a church ruin in the backyard of the town castle and the townhouse itself.
Well, what you learn is that it was well guarded, with so many traps that if someone wanted to steal the goods it was almost impossible to leave alive.
First, we met the Barber Surgeon, explaining how he was treating someone who was not feeling well or how he was preparing a variety of concoctions. He was the person preparing the ink for writing, and it was interesting to learn how it was made. Back in the middle ages, they used what is called gallnut, swelling of the bark on a tree after an insect has laid its eggs inside the bark. To make the ink, they used a gallnut from the gall wasp. The wasp lays an egg in the bud of an oak tree, and around the larva, a round sphere – the gallnut begins to form. When the larva is a fully developed wasp, it bores a hole in the gallnut and flies away. Then the gallnuts are harvested and used to make ink it took them around 3- 5 days to make it.
The second person was the archer, who demonstrated a Longbow and explained how they made bows and which one for what was used.
We could walk a little bit on the roof, the views of the city and the harbour are great, but again I couldn’t take many photos.
The third of the actors’ experiences was the Cook and she shared stories from her life as a cook and cooking recipes. It was funny to learn that they used geese for guards and alarms, instead of a dog, as those birds were and are so loud.
The last stop of the tour was explaining how they made silver coins back in the day- I could take a photo of them.
It was a really interesting visit and time well spent for a gloomy day, although the afternoon was pretty sunny, you never know with Ireland weather :). I will highly recommend this activity, if you visit Dublin, it is something different and a hidden gem. After the tour, I just took a coffee and wondered a little bit around the cute town with narrow streets full of shops and restaurants.
Than you for reading 🙂