To the east of Malahide town centre is a small beach on which it is easy to find loose carboniferous fossils and limestone pebbles containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The pebbles are washed out from exposures along the local coastline, including foreshore platforms found between Malahide and nearby Portmarnock.
Photo credit: https://jooinn.com/malahide-beach-hdr.html
♦ Access is by a short set of steps to the right of the slipway by the green or by a ramped footpath adjacent to Coast Road next to the Malahide Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
♦ Head for Malahide seafront (the roads R106, R107 and R124 all head into Malahide) and park in one of the plentiful free parking spaces on Coast Road, alongside or just beyond the tennis club.
♦ Walk back towards the tennis club to get onto the beach by the ramp or head towards the green on the seafront to access the beach by the steps.
♦ You can get onto the beach by one means and exit at the other end by the other, walking back alongside the road, if you prefer not to retrace your steps. However, it is worth walking back the way you came, as you will often notice things on your return that you didn’t on your outward walk.
♦ NT 27940 88479, 53°27’06.0″N 6°09’00.2″W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦♦♦ – As a carboniferous limestone location, this is excellent for the ease with which you can find and collect well-preserved fossils. The small bay contains loose pebbles that are highly fossiliferous. No tools are necessary.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦♦ – This easily accessible site is suitable for children of all ages and, being near the town centre, has parking, refreshments and toilet facilities in close by.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦♦ – From the car parking spaces along Coast Road it is a very short walk to the beach, access to which is by ramp or a short flight of steps. The beach is pebbly and generally an even surface.
TYPE: – Fossils are found loose and in the pebbles on the beach.
This is only a small bay, with a limited area to collect from, but the rocks here are packed with fossils. There is a lot of loose material to look through, and coral, bryozoa and crinoid pebbles can be found all over the bay.
The coast around Malahide is composed of rocks from the Malahide Formation of the Fingal group of rocks, which were formed approximately 348mya during the Courceyan Stage (Tournaisian stage) of the Dinantian (Lower Carboniferous).
Common sense when collecting at all locations should always be used and knowledge of tide times taken into account. The sea reaches the seawall at high tide, so collecting should be done on a falling tide. Care must also be taken getting down from the embankment, as the steps and slipway may be slippery and/or dangerous in wet weather.
No equipment at is necessary, other than a bag or container to hold your finds.
This site is an area of scientific interest (ASSI). This means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted. For full information about the reasons for the status of the site and restrictions contact The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.