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Heritage Towns of County Donegal

Heritage Towns Launch August 2008

Anthony Begley, local historian and author, and Patrick Shaffrey, renowned conservation architect and author, led a guided tour of Ballyshannon at the launch of the ‘Heritage Towns of County Donegal’ brochures in August 2008



A series of six brochures on the ‘Heritage Towns’ of County Donegal were launched in August 2008. The brochures were produced by the County Donegal Heritage Office of Donegal County Council to raise awareness of the built and archaeological heritage of the ‘Heritage Towns’ of Ardara, Ballyshannon, Moville, Ramelton and Raphoe. These towns were designated as ‘Heritage Towns’ by Donegal County Council. The brochures were launched by Patrick Shaffrey, renowned conservation architect and author.


In County Donegal, Bord Failte initiated the ‘Heritage Towns’ scheme under the European Regional Development Fund Initiative (1995-1999). Two ‘Heritage Towns’ in County Donegal were designated and marketed under this project: Ardara (with a theme of weaving) and Ramelton (with a theme of Georgian port or town). Donegal County Council designated the five ‘Heritage Towns’ of Ardara, Ballyshannon, Moville, Ramelton and Raphoe in 2000. Despite popular belief, the designation of towns as ‘Heritage Towns’ does not afford these towns any statutory protection.


The designation of ‘Heritage Town’ is intended to have the dual effect of helping to conserve the built environment of these towns and of promoting these towns. The series of bilingual brochures on the ‘Heritage Towns of County Donegal’ include an individual brochure on each of the five ‘Heritage Towns’ and a general brochure. The brochures set out a heritage trail for each of the ‘Heritage Towns’ with a selection of built and cultural heritage sites along it. The brochures offer a vignette of each of the ‘Heritage Towns’ but are only illustrative of the rich and varied built and cultural heritage that these towns have to offer.  If you would like copies of the ‘Heritage Towns of County Donegal’ brochures, they are available free-of-charge from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Cultural Services, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576 or by e-mail at: 


Heritage Towns of County Donegal (Brochure)

Ardara ‘Heritage Town’ (Brochure)


Ballyshannon ‘Heritage Town’ (Brochure)


Moville ‘Heritage Town’ (Brochure)


Ramelton ‘Heritage Town’ (Brochure) 


Ramelton 'Heritage Town' Tour (Audio)


Raphoe ‘Heritage Town’ (Brochure) 


An Action of the County Donegal Heritage Plan


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