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Bullock Harbour, Dalkey Celebrates Bicentenary With Lecture Series

24th November 2018

#Bullock200 - While taking a stroll at Bullock Harbour on Dublin Bay, a poster erected next to the former premises of Western Marine, highlights a lecture series celebrating the bicentenary of the landmark gem neighbouring Dalkey, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The scenic stone-cut charm of Bullock Harbour, this winter marks 200 years since construction began in 1818/19 by the Ballast Board (now Dublin Port Company) which still manages the small working harbour on the southern shores of Dublin Bay. The harbour is home to inshore fishing craft, the Dalkey Sea Scouts, a seasonal boat-hire fleet for anglers and is a popular spot for kayakers to embark from a slipway. In addition the attractive maritime setting draws an attentive audience of tourists. 

Such present day use is in stark constrast to the origins behind the Ballast Board's reason in building the harbour. The principle purpose for its existance was to enable loading locally quarried granite rock to be shipped across Dublin Bay for constructing the capital quays.

The harbour's piers at Bullock were built over a previous breakwater of the medieval fishing village port, tucked in a tidal rocky creek at the foot of Bullock Castle. The Cistercian monks held lucrative fishing rights that came with the land though this had to be to protected from tribes in Wicklow. 

The Castle remains intact and has commanding views overlooking the bay to Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the South Wall breakwater of Dublin Port and Howth Peninsula.

Bullock's Bicentenary Lecture Series

According to DPC's facebook, thanks was made to those who attended this week the first of six Bullock Harbour Bicentenary Lecture Series (to May 2019) held in the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. 

The inaugural lecture organised in partnership between Bullock Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA) and Dublin Port focused on the history, expansion and role of the port since 1707 and looking at the close links with the capital city. 

The next lecture lined up in the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre will be held on: 

Tuesday, 4 December at 8pm - The History and Heritage of Bullock Harbour

Speaker: Rob Goodbody, Historic Building Consultant & Local Historian

Further details of the remaining lectures will be posted shortly on

Admission is free to attend the lectures but places should be pre-booked in advance with the DC&HC by emailing: [email protected]

The lectures have been supported by the Dalkey Community Council, Dalkey Tidy Towns and the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre

Published in Dublin Bay
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore. 

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.


At A Glance – Dublin Bay

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south

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