Benjamin Chapman, one of Oliver Cromwell’s army captains, was gifted Killua Castle and its surrounding lands in 1667. The property we see today is believed to have been constructed in 1780 although it would have been smalled in size having been extended as it passed through the Chapman family, who had connections with Sir Walter Raleigh and Lawrence of Arabia. The surrounding estate includes a private lake, wooden garden, and parklands, as well as an obelisk erected in 1810 to mark where the first Irish potatoes were planted.
The property was in ruin until the early 2000s when new owners set about restoring the castle to its former glory – and what an incredible job they have done. Work continues and the property is now maintained as a private home, but many photos of the restoration have been shared by the owners.
In the 18th Century, Benjamin Chapman – the castle owner, employed the services of a land steward by the name of Jacky Dalton. Dalton was said to be short in stature but cunning and jovial. He wore a wild yellow wig and endeared himself to Chapman and his guests by playing the bagpipes. But Chapman’s trust was misplaced and Dalton defrauded him. Having squandered his master’s money, Jackie was later overcome with guilt for his deed when his master died. He drank heavily and drowned himself in the castle lake. The ghost of a man with yellowish has been spotted walking the grounds of Killua Castle many times over the years.
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Some of the parklands are open for walkers to explore. Just be mindful that there is a farm on-site so please observe any instructions regarding opening arrangements, closing gates, etc.
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