6pm to 6am
Sitting above the shore of loch Sheelin, Castle Ross purveys a romantic image of a time long gone by. The truth of the castle couldn’t be more different, built in the 12 century Castle Ross has seen love, deceit and more than its share of bloodshed. With more than one infamous guest gracing the castle including one who was named the SLASHER. It is no surprise that this castle features in our 3 must investigate venues on our tour of Ireland.
Will you have the staying power to last this epic 12 hour investigation. Where paranormal activity is common place, many visitors report sightings of children playing in specific areas. Noises , pushing , shoving and extreme sorrow and emotion are felt. One of the Ghostly Gathering team had first hand experience on our pre-investigation visit, When a resident spirit appeared in a doorway.
History of Ross Castle
The ancient village of Ross is situated on the south side of the River Inny as it enters Lough Sheelin. Its origins go back to the early iron age, with many remains of dolmen stones, ring forts and Norman castles found in the immediate area.
Throughout the middle-ages this region has been the battle ground between the anglo-saxon conquerors to the east and the celtic Irish to the north and west. The pale, that area extending west from Dublin controlled by the English ran out at the shores of Lough Sheelin. Beyond was the reign of the Irish chieftains with their clans: the O’Reily’s, McCabe’s, O’Neil’s and McCormick’s. The border region of the pale was the domain of the Nugents. Gilbert de Nogent, leaving his home in France, can be found as one of the principal men taking part in William The Conqueror’s 1066 invasion of England. In return for his loyalty and service the “de Nogents”, who later anglicized their name to Nugent, received titles and lands in England.
In Ireland, allied with the celebrated Hugh de Lacy, who had been granted the greater part of County Meath, the heart of the pale, young Gilbert was given the hand of de Lacy’s sister and with it as dowry the Barony of Delvin. The Nugents were always “King’s Men”, realizing full well on whose goodwill and strong arm their lands and titles rested. They did their utmost to maintain and where possible expand their foothold in the new colony. In later years that domain stretched as far as the shores of Lough Sheelin, into the lands of the Breffni border. The English encouraged their lords to erect strong fortifications for defense against the local Irish, from whom the land had been taken. In the early 16th century the English Crown granted the extensive sum of 10 Pounds Sterling for every fortification or tower house erected by their subjects.
Accordingly in 1533 Richard Nugent, the 12th Baron of Delvin commenced the construction of a stronghold, which was to become known as the Castle of Ross. The tower was completed by him in 1537. The great hall and further extensions were finished by his grandson, the 13th Baron of Delvin in 1539.
The Castle served as a guard at the western reaches of the pale against the celtic Irish across the lake in what today is County Cavan. In decades following, the Nugents started to merge with the local Irish and soon O’Reillys can be found in the family annals.
The Castle of Ross came to its final fame in the summer of 1644 when Myles O’Reilly, the Slasher, spent in its walls the night before the Battle of Finea. There, confronting Cromwellian troops on the bridge the next day, he himself was slain. In retribution the English reduced much of the Castle of Ross to ruins. The tower of the same and some outbuildings were rebuilt by a later descendant in the 19th century. In 1864 Anna Maria O’Reilly also installed a large plaque, commemorating her heroic ancestor in the tower hall. One hundred years later Sir David Nugent rebuilt the entire compound as a family estate in its present outline. At that time modern conveniences were added to the building complex.
Throughout the past centuries and increasingly from the mid 18-hundreds to the 1960s large numbers of Irish have emigrated to all corners of the world and today form some of the largest ethnic communities throughout the Americas and Australia. Many of these emigrants came from counties surrounding Lough Sheelin. The pre-famine population of County Cavan for example was 250,000, which dropped to 50,000 in the early part of the 20th century. Much of this decline was caused by emigration. Today many descendants of these emigrants return as tourists, tracing their ancestry. Directly related to Ross Castle are the Nugents and O’Reillys, but many McCabes, Smyths, Lynchs, Farellys, Clarkes, Maguirs, Murtaghs or Sheridans are also returning to the shores of Lough Sheelin, . Many of their ancestors will have connections to Ross Castle or the surrounding hamlets, farms or the famous quarry at Ross.
Numerous community organizations in the area offer services to those tracing their Irish ancestry. Your hosts at Ross Castle can provide you with the local background information and put you in contact with an appropriate agency.
Only £75 per person, limited spaces available secure yours for a low deposit payment of £15.00 per person. Price includes bed and breakfast.
Address: Oldcastle, County Meath Rep. of Ireland