Tunnels at Dalkey

Dalkey stripping

ACS were appointed in November to carry out the archaeological mitigation for a new school building at Loreto Avenue, Dalkey. The site encompasses a subterranean passage that is marked on the second edition Ordnance Survey maps. It leads from a narrow passageway along the edge of the sea towards Lady Well and on towards Seafield. It survives intact today though is partially blocked near the access to the well. It was apparently constructed around 1850 to allow the local people access to the water in the well without being seen from the fine residence at Carraig-na-Greina which was built in the 18th century and belonged to Charles Leslie.

Dalkey Underground passage

Mr Leslie did not wish to see the locals trudging across his land on the sea side of the house as they went for fresh water in the well and thereby spoiling the view out along the coastline. The tunnel is constructed of rock with an arched roof of brick and is vented at several locations along its route. It runs north-west to south-east along the edge of the sea and midway along its length a short second passage leads to the well while the main passage continues southeastwards towards Seafield.

Dalkey passageway

A narrow passageway with high walls either side, some of which is still extant leads down towards the waters edge from Loreto Avenue and gives access to the tunnel. This passageway with its high walls would again have kept the locals hidden from the residence and originally the passageway originated further west along Leslie Avenue but was demolished in the latter part of the 18th century. The foundation remains of the passageway leading from Leslie Avenue to Loreto Avenue were exposed by ACS archaeologists during the present work on site.