Saturday, 14 May 2011

Castle Roche Co Louth

Castle Roche was the seat of the De Verdon family in the 13th century. It was built on the northern frontier of "The Pale". Legend has it the the very wealthy Roesha De Verdon promised her hand in marriage to any man who could build the castle for her. The man who finally did, on their wedding night, was led to the great open bedroom window by Roesha to view the land he had come into possession of and was promptly pushed out to his death by his scheming new bride. His ghost haunts the "Murder Window" to this very day, which strangely enough is bricked up from the inside...
The castle was finally laid to ruin in 1641 by Cromwellian forces.The very imposing ruin now sits atop its rocky hill overlooking the border countryside and although quite prominent in its locality, is very much off the beaten track. To visit you will need to climb the grassy slope and once there you can enter the ruin by it's main door. Within is only the shell of the once great house but it is well worth your time. The views from atop are astounding. You can also see the famous Murder Window.
To get to the castle, heading north from Dublin, on th M1, take the Junction 17 exit and take a left onto the N53 for Castleblayney. At the nasty-sounding Hackballscross, turn right and follow on through Shortstone keeping an eye out to the right. You should be able to take a right turn onto a narrow road before Edenkill. Parking is restricted here but you can park one car safely at the gate to the field in which the castle lies. Do not block the other gate which is used by a local farmer.