Colouring Fingal's Heritage

Colouring Fingal’s Heritage

This colouring book depicts wonderful illustrations that capture the essence of Fingal's exceptional heritage. By matching cultural heritage with creativity this publication aims to introduce these sites and stories to new and varied audiences, both young and old(er)! Drawings are of varied detail to encourage all levels of colouring enjoyment. The majority of the sites included are open to the public and are there to be enjoyed by all the family. The project was undertaken by the Christine Baker, Heritage Officer in conjunction with Sara Nylund of Abarta Heritage. Copies can be collected from Fingal Libraries during Heritage Week.

Or you can download the pictures below: 

Balbriggan Harbour

In 1762 George Hamilton had a limestone pier constructed and a lighthouse was added in 1769. Corn and timber were shipped out to Liverpool and Dublin, while slates and coal were imported. Candles were originally used for light until they were replaced by five gas lanterns.

Skerries Mills

The current 19th century mill complex occupies the site of a watermill mentioned in the 16th century as ‘the watermill of Holmpatrick’. The complex is an L-shaped building with a mill race, mill pond and is overlooked by two restored windmills. It was used as bakery until 1986.

Seamus Ennis

Séamus Ennis (1919-1982) was one of the greatest uilleann pipers of all time. He co-founded Na Piobairí Uilleann and preserved almost 2000 Irish songs and dance-tunes in his work with the Irish Foklore Commssion. He lived out his last years in Naul, where the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre was opened in 2001.

Molly Adrien

The redoubtable Miss Adrien (1873-1949) was the Cumann na mBán member who brought the order from Padraig Pearse to the leaders of the North County Brigade of the Irish Volunteers telling them to rise in 1916. She cycled back and forth, reporting on the situation managing to evade arrest.

Fingal Mummers

Fingal has a long and continuous tradition of Mumming. It is seasonal and traditionally takes place over the Christmas holiday period. Each character in the play dresses up with masks and straw costumes and has his/her own particular traditional rhyme. Historically they represented a challenge and fight between St. George of England & the Moor or Turk.

Baldoyle Vikings

Fingal owes its name to the Fine Gall, the 'fair strangers' from Scandanavia. While they started raiding monastic sites such as  Inis Patrick near Skerries in 798 or Lusk in 828, the Vikings also married Irish and settled to supply Norse Dublin with crops, raw materials and shellfish. Placenames such as Baldoyle which means Baile Dubh Gall, 'the place of the dark strangers', where the Danes settled are all that survive.

Harry Clarke Windows

Harry Clarke is one of Ireland's most famous stained-glass artists. There are a number of examples of his work in Fingal including this two-light window in St Patrick's Church, Donabate, designed in 1925.


Now in Garristown library, the lower half of a female effigy was discovered in graveyard of Garristown church where it was used as a gravemarker. One fragment portrays a heavy woollen skirt which is raised to reveal a smock underneath. Her feet rest on a tasselled cushion. The figure has been dated to the 15th century and represents a Pale school of figure sculpture.

 Drumanagh Martello Tower

One of twelve Martello towers that extend along the coast of Fingal, Drumanagh Martello tower is positioned towards the end of an Iron Age promontory fort. Built in 1804/5 for the defence against a Napoleonic invasion, Martello Tower No.9 was also used by the Preventative Water Guard to combat smuggling.

Swords Castle

Swords Castle is not a castle in the accepted sense but an Archbishop's Palace. Recent archaeological excavations revealed it was built over an earlier burial ground. Many buildings were added and burnt down over the centuries.  It was also where people came to pay their taxes and tithes and where enormous quantities of grain were stored.

Aideen's Grave

Legend has it that the ‘cromlech’ or portal tomb at Howth was a capstone thrown by Fionn Mac Cumhaill from the bog of Allen. According to another local legend it was the resting place of Aideen who died of grief for the loss of her husband Oscar in the Battle of Gabhra.

Dunsink Observatory

Selected for its vantage point and distance from the smog of Dublin, Dunsink Observatory was built in 1785, the instruments and layout designed by Rev. Henry Ussher. The official time in Ireland  was Dublin Mean Time which was set at Dunsink, before moving to Greenwich Mean Time which was 25 minutes ahead, in 1916.

Clonsilla Church

Just before the visit of Edward VII to Dublin in 1907, the Irish crown jewels, or the Insignia of the Order of St Patrick, as they were officially known-were stolen from Dublin Castle. A clairvoyant claimed that they were near a gatepost in Clonsilla graveyard. So many people descended on the graveyard armed with shovels in search of the jewels that police had to forbid entry. The jewels were never found and it is said they were used to fund the Russian Revolution.

Lusk Church

Lusk was a major ecclesiastical centre associated with Saint Mac Cullin. The round tower, one of only two in Fingal, was a symbol of status. The church of Lusk was burned by the Vikings in 827 and 856. In 1053 hostages were taken from the church and in 1069 it was burnt again.

Stella's Castle

An example of a medieval tower house with later additions including a brick chimney, Portane Castle was associated with Esther Johnson. Otherwise known as Stella, she was a friend of Jonathan Swift who wrote Gulliver's Travels.

Mulhuddart Holy Well

The holy well used to be the scene of a pattern day celebration in the 1700s when tents and refreshments were set up and people came from miles around on the 8th September. It is a natural spring and recognised as a County Geological Site.


Portmarnock Church

The medieval church of St Marnock may have been built on the site of an earlier church. Nearby was a holy well where a hoard of coins dating from the 1400s were found. An ogham stone supposedly with the fingerprints of St Marnock on it, used to stand beside the well.

Ballyboughal Church

The remains of the medieval Ballyboughal church contain a triple bellcote on its western gable, a carved head on the arch of the east gable and the church had a window dating to c.1300. A reference from 1302 says that St Patrick’s bachull or staff was kept there for a period. Baile Bachaille from which the village derives its name means ‘town of the staff’.

Royal Canal

The Royal Canal built to connect Dublin with the Shannon, was known as the Rival canal or the Cobblers canal in reference to Mr Binns, a retired shoemaker and member of the Board of the Grand Canal. He fell out with the other board members and set up a rival canal company.  It was while walking along the canal that William Rowan Hamilton (1805-65) discovered the theory of quaternions, a revolutionary mathematical concept that he carved into the stone work at Broombridge. He was the director of the observatory at nearby Dunsink.

 Malahide Estuary 

The Malahide estuary is where the Broadmeadow river flows into the Irish Sea and it was from here that the Norse men of Inbher Domhainn carried out raids on Swords. The railway was built across the estuary in the 1840s. The Broadmeadow side never empties while the Malahide side drains almost completely at low tide exposing mud flats. Malahide estuary is a special protection area on account of the waterbirds that nest and feed there. It also a popular place to see swans.


The Tayleur

An iron sailing clipper, the Tayleur was owned by the White Star Line who later built the Titanic. Her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Melbourne ended in disaster when compasses didn't work properly because of the iron hull. The ship was so off course it was dashed against the rocks of Lambay Island during a storm on 21 January 1854.


All of our human past is represented on Lambay Island. From Mesolithic flints to burials of members of British Iron Age tribes fleeing the Romans. In 1467 a fortress was built there to prevent pirates from harbouring there and plundering ships on the Irish Sea. Owned by the Baring family, the island contains 308 plant types and supports one of the largest seabird colonies in Ireland. It is also home to around 100 wallabies.


 Ireland's Eye

Inis Mac Nessan was named for the sons of the 7th century St Nessan who founded a church on what is now known as Ireland's Eye. An illuminated manuscript called the Garland of Howth was kept there but is now in Trinity College, Dublin. The island is famous for its nesting birds which include thousands of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and gulls.