Dunfanaghy Heritage Trail

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About this app

Immerse yourself in the story of Dunfanaghy, discovering how this busy town grew and evolved and how it dealt with trade and tragedy. Over the course of ten points, you’ll find out how one family of landowners nurtured its development from a quiet village with evidence of pre-Viking life, into a thriving port. And you’ll discover how another family built an establishment that is an icon of hospitality. You’ll see its places of worship, hear first-hand about one of its school and laugh at some of its characters. The tour will take about an hour, depending on how long you spend at each location. Be prepared for the weather, wear a good pair of comfortable shoes and take care on the roads when walking between each point.

The trails starts at Point 1: Dunfanaghy Workhouse. Workhouses operated in Ireland from the early 1840s to the early 1920s. You will learn about its role during the Irish Famine and how people who became unable to support themselves could come into the workhouse where, in return for work, they would be given food and shelter. The next stop is Point 2: Holy Cross Church, which opened its doors in June 1898. As well as hearing about the church, you’ll learn about ‘The Dunfanaghy Manifesto’ which drew attention to the wretched living conditions of Donegal’s poor in the mid-1800s. At Point 3: Pound Street, you will discover how this street got its name and be introduced to an influential family of landowners, the Stewarts of Ards, who played an important part in Dunfanaghy’s development. Point 4: Main Street reveals how the Stewarts transformed Dunfanaghy from a quiet seaside fishing village into a thriving port and commercial centre. The next stop is Point 5: Arnolds Hotel. You will hear how the lineage of this family-run hotel, which has served as a place of hospitality since 1922, can be traced back to the Stewarts of Ards. You will also hear about some of the characters who have stayed here over the years. Then it’s just a short walk to Point 6: Presbyterian Church, where some intriguing architectural features are revealed, both on the church and at another historic site very close by. You can take a rest and take in spectacular views across Sheephaven Bay to Horn Head at Point 7: The Green. Be sure to read the signage there too. At Point 8: Pier and Market Square, you’ll gain insights to Dunfanaghy’s rapid economic growth in the mid-1800s. Again, make sure to read the fascinating stories in the signage located there. There’s a trip down memory lane at Point 9: Garda station and the Robertson Board School, as stories of school days past are recounted. A short walk along the left hand side of the Horn Head Road brings you to Point 10: Holy Trinity Church of Ireland. It marks the end the walking trail and from here you can make your way back to the Workhouse.
Updated on
Aug 21, 2023

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