Killiney Bay Heritage Trail

Launched during Heritage Week in August 2021, KBCC, with the support of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, has put together a visual heritage trail, showcasing some of the fabulous hidden sites of interest around the Ballybrack and Killiney areas. Share and enjoy.

Martello Towers: 6, Enoch Tower, and 7, Killiney Hill Tower

Martello Towers No. 6 and No. 7 are two of the about 50 Martellos built by the British. Many were were built along our eastern coastline from Drogheda all the way down to Bray. Dublin Bay had a high concentration of them as 26 towers were built in line of sight of each other providing the ability to communicate and warn of any incoming attacks by the French Navy.

Druids Chair Dolmen/Megalithic Dolmen Ballybrack

It is not clear if the Druid’s Chair is a genuine Bronze Age Cairn or a Victorian Folly using ancient stones. Regardless, the Druids Chair, also called the Druid’s Judgement Seat, is composed of three cromlechs or dolmens, one of which is a tall granite stone, with an ingrained channel, where possibly, enemies or offenders’ heads were place before been beheaded. A dolmen is a type of single chamber megalithic tomb, consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal structure or table.

The megalithic portal tomb in Ballybrack dates from 2,500 BC. The capstone of this stone table measures 7 feet by 6 feet and is supported by portal stones of 4.5 feet, and weighs approximately 12 tons. You are looking at the skeleton of a dolmen, as they were normally covered with a mound or blanket of stones. Dolmens are also known as Cromleachs, Giant Graves, Leabas, Diarmuid and Grainne’s Beds, and Giant’s Griddle.

The Obelisk: Killiney Hill

The Obelisk, standing 170 metres above sea level, was built in 1742. The project was organised by John Mapas and Kathryn Connolly in response to the famine of 1740-1741, ‘The Year of the Slaughter’, when 250,000-480,000 died because of a severe winter and exceptionally wet summer which destroyed livestock and harvests. This famine-relief building project provided food and sustenance in exchange for work completed.  

Killiney Hill, originally Mapas Mount, was acquired in 1887 as a public park and was re-named Victoria Hill to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 50 Year Jubilee. The land was bequeathed to the public in 1891. It includes Dalkey Hill and Roches Hill, called Mullins Hill. There are panoramic views of Dublin City, Dublin Bay, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey Island, Bray Head, the Irish Sea and the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. The rock cliffs of Dalkey Quarry are now used by rock climbing enthusiasts. Maps of walks and trails are set at all entrances to Victoria Park.ú

Michael Davitt Memorial, Ballybrack

Michael Davitt was born in Straide, Co. Mayo in 1846, during the Famine. He became a humanitarian, social reformer and an advocate of non-violence, and influenced Mahatma Ghandi. He founded the Irish National Land League in 1879 to rescue tenant farmers from a form of semi-serfdom. He married Mary Yore, and moved to the Land League Cottage on Military Road, given to them as a wedding present from the people of Ireland.

Cill Inion Leinin/Church of the Daughters of Leinin Killiney Ancient Cemetery

The monastery stood on this site from the 6th-7th century AD and was dedicated to the seven sisters, daughters of Leinin: Aiglenn, Macha, Luiden, Druiden, Luicill, Bimtach and Briga. The cemetery holds graves from the 18th and 19th centuries and is peaceful and beautiful – a place for contemplation. Every August there is an Ecumenical Service celebrated in the ruins. A key is available by contacting killiney.ancient.church@gmail.com.

Killiney History website

Find out more about the area on Killiney History, a website dedicated to tracing the history of the houses and residents of Killiney and Ballybrack in south county Dublin.

Browse through an interactive map featuring around 45 houses in the area with historical interest. The website also features a new article every month, with additional houses being added to the list as time allows.