Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center

DART is truly a convenient way to explore the towns surrounding Dublin.  We recently headed south to Dalkey (Bono from U2 hails from Dalkey).  We disembarked the train and admired the ivy growing on this quaint old pub as we ambled into town.
More fine examples of turn-of-the-20th century architecture followed.
We took a quick peek at the farmers market in Dalkey.  It's situated near an old tram depot and the tracks run right through the stalls.  I'd say the farmers market is worth a look if you're in town but not worth a special trip to Dalkey. It's rather small.

Delicious smells were wafting from Country Bake and we just had to stop in. We opted for a slab of chocolate cake which looked incredibly dense but was really very light and fluffy. Yum!

I love how the Irish really seem to appreciate bright colors.  In Dublin it seems mostly limited to the Georgian doors but in Dalkey, I really admired this lavender painted house.  It makes a bold statement.
We continued on to Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center, the main attraction in town.
The next tour wasn't scheduled to depart for about 30 minutes so we spent some time exploring an exhibit on the castle grounds.  I was particularly impressed by these intricate dioramas showcasing what life was like during various periods of the castle's history.
The tour really exceeded our every expectation.  Actors in period costume led the way.  This gentleman was the ghost of a former owner and he proceeded to show us around the cemetery and churchyard on the property.
We continued into the house past the "murder hole" (very descriptive) where boiling oil, tar, or other scathing liquid would be poured down on those intending to attack the castle.
We were handed off to the lord of the house who was also a practicing barber surgeon.  He demonstrated some of the state of the art in period medicine for us.
This included things like tasting the urine of a patient to determine the illness (see that bottle on the back of the doctor's chair?) and bloodletting.
We were then handed off to Rupert who was the servant of the house (and also responsible for warding off attacks via the Murder Hole.  He demo'ed some weaponry for us before we headed up to the roof.
Here we looked down upon the ruins of a church with a large yew tree outside.
Rupert told us stories of entertaining at the castle as well as the person hygiene habits of that time.  Inhabitants of the castle bathed once-a-year and hung their clothes in the toilet room so the ammonia from the urine could kill the lice and 'clean' the clothes.  Rupert even said he believed the clothes should be dipped in the toilet for best effect rather than simply hanging them in the room.  Eww, eww, eww!
It was all rather eye opening.  The period actors really turned what could have been a bland house tour into an entertaining adventure.  Well done, Dalkey Castle!

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Sidewalk Safari: Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center
Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center
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