Huntington Castle - County Carlow - Southern Ireland

huntington castle, county carlow, southern irelandIt is said that Huntington Castle was built on the site of an Abbey which had itself originally been built on the site of a Druids Temple dating back to the 14th century. 

The man who built it was Lord Esmonde and its dark interiors and forbidding corridors with their suits of armour, stuffed animals and family portraits and tapestries leave the visitor in little doubt that this is a haunted castle!

For the past 200 years it has been the home of the Durdin - Robertson family. The castle stands in very large grounds and is bounded by the rivers Derry and Slaney and it was featured in the film Barry Lyndon made by Stanley Kubrick who stayed at the castle.  One odd thing is the existence of a dungeon in the castle which contains an old temple to the goddess Isis  - the Durdin - Robertsons founded the Fellowship of Isis, a cult dedicated to the Egyptian goddess and apparently the family often entertain witches from other countries at ceremonies which take place in the temple. One of the more remarkable features of the grounds which still survives from the days of the monastery is the Yew Walk which probably dates back to the 17th century although some say that the trees were actually planted as early as the 15th century.  The gnarled, interlocking branches form a slightly unnerving kind of tunnel in which apparently ghostly monks have been seen to glide on their way.

Also the ghost of the wife of Lord Esmond: Ailish O'Flaherty has apparently been seen by the 'Spy Bush' in the garden combing her hair in the moonlight and sobbing inconsolably and legend has it that in life she would stand there waiting for her husband and her son to return from the wars.

Another ghost is said to haunt the castle itself.  A ghostly soldier thought to have served at the time of Oliver Cromwell's rebellion can on occasions be heard knocking at the door.  Apparently during the time of conflict, he thought to disguise himself in his enemies uniform so that he could spy on them but sadly his fellow soldiers did not recognize him and shot him through the door grille through which his troubled ghostly face is sometimes now seen.