Monday, 9 April 2012

Huntington Castle - The Wailing Wife and the Phantom Bishop

A-Z Challenge 2012 - H

Huntington Castle - The Wailing Wife and the Phantom Bishop

Huntington Castle stands in Clonegal, County Carlow, Ireland. During his conquest of Ireland Cromwell captured the castle in 1650.

Back in the 13th century there had been a Franciscan monastery on the site. The Jacobean castle built in 1625 by Sir Laurence Esmonde replaced an earlier stronghold on the site of the monastery.

Huntington Castle - 2008

Huntington is a site that abounds with ghosts. The original monks planted a yew tree walk which survives to this day. It is there that you might just come across their ghostly forms.

The marriage of the Protestant Sir Laurence and his Catholic wife, Ailish had its problems. It’s said that one night Ailish took her baby son and stole away to her Connaught family. Sir Laurence promptly took a new wife. Ailish’s wraithlike spirit sometimes stands in the garden combing her hair and wailing in anguish at the unfairness of it all.

The tale is also told of the ghosts of Barbara St Lege and her maidservant, Honor Byrne. They wander the corridors, keys jangling and Honor polishing door handles with her hair.

Should you hear a knock on the castle door it may turn out to be a spectral soldier from Cromwell’s time. Sent to gather information from the enemy his comrades did not recognise him when he returned, still in disguise. His ghostly face may be seen at the grille through which he was shot.

The Bishop of Limerick died at the castle in 1770. Occupants of the Four Poster Room in the bedroom wing have claimed to see his ghost standing at the foot of their bed. From time to time his friendly face is said to replace that of a Spanish flower girl in the portrait by Murillo above the fireplace.

At ground level stone steps lead down to the space which in 1640 Cromwell’s men used as a dungeon. In modern times (1976) Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, his wife and sister converted the cellars into the head-quarters of the Fellowship of Isis which now has a worldwide membership.

Hilary Melton-Butcher's Castle G - Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

  • Image - Huntington Castle 2008 by Liam Hughes, Milwaukee, WI, USA; the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. that's the thing with Castles - they've seen so much history and have so many stories to tell.

I like the idea of the yew tree walk .. but all those ghosts around .. I wonder what they think of the Fellowship of Isis - an Egyptian Goddess with an international spiritual following ..

Fascinating castle and once again we're different .. I've come close to my home .. cheers Hilary

Alfandi said...

One gorgeous castle..someone should video and record those wailing ghosts for proof..

Robyn Campbell said...

Yikes! Wailing ghosts. But wouldn't you love to hear them? I probably would run screaming though. Ha! That place is filled with them. A lot of stories in that one. Great haunted castle pick, Bob. :-)

Jenni Steel said...

I love all this history about all these castles and those large historical homes. It's these ghostly shadows, noises and activities that help to keep it all alive.

Thank you for sharing this with me. I really enjoyed it!

Think Positive, Be Positive said...

Thanks, Bob, for stopping by my blog today and posting a comment. I am a new follower as I love many things British...especially the lovely castles in the area...;0)

Donna L Martin

Bish Denham said...

What a fabulous looking building. It doesn't really surprise me, with all the people who have come and gone, that some kind of energy isn't left behind to "haunt" these place you are writing about.

David Robinson said...

Smashing looking place, Bob; feel sorry for that soldier, though.

Judy said...

As someone who is fascinated with the paranormal, I loved this!!! Great history!

Matthew MacNish said...

Fascinating post on an interesting castle. Sounds like a great place to meet some spirits!

Anna L. Walls said...

I've always thought it would be cool to live in a castle, ghosts and all. Well, maybe not this many ghosts. haha

Golden Eagle said...

What an eerie set of stories surrounding that castle!

Little Nell said...

Those old walls seem to have soaked in more than their fair share of grisly events!

Jo said...

Don't think I'd want to stay there.