Lambay Island

Lambay Island, located off the coast of Malahide in north Co. Dublin, is another Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Its name originated in the Danish Viking times and means ‘ Lamb Island ’. It is a large island at 250 hectares, and today Lambay is a privately owned by the Baring family.

Early settlement

In 1927, the original 1822 pier on Lambay was undergoing improvements when workmen discovered an ancient burial site and a number of bodies in crouched positions. A number of objects were also found, such as clay pots, lance heads, shields, iron swords, a ring, and archaeologists discovered that some of those artefacts dated to 500 B.C.

Archaeologists have estimated that the Lambay was settled as early as 7,000 B.C.


There is a wide variety of underlying rocks on Lambay Island . The dominant rock types are igneous and ash, but there are also a number of limestone shales and Old Red Sandstone. The Old Red Sandstone was quarried on Lambay Island in the past.

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