Shankill Castle

Shankill Castle
Kilkenny, Ireland.

Originally a tower house before being rebuilt for Peter Aylward in the style we see today, Shankill Castle is a privately owned big house with gardens located on the Carlow and Kilkenny border. The house and gardens are open to the public on a seasonal basis, and tours of the house itself are available.

In and around the 1700s, graves were often targeted by robbers seeking cadavers for use by medical students in their anatomical studies. Only the use of the bodies of convicted criminals had been sanctioned for this purpose and this led to a shortage of suitable corpses. As a result, all graves were considered fair game to the robbers and there was good money to be made in this dark and gruesome market. When castle owner, Peter Aylward was laid to rest in his family vault, his body was stolen, and it has never been found. This may explain why the man himself still walks the upstairs corridor of his former home and the bedroom that he once slept in.

Members of Oliver Cromwell’s army briefly occupied Shankill Castle, with many of them slain in battle. Their ghosts have been seen in the basement.

In the early 19th-century, a bitter argument arose between the priest of the neighbouring church and the owner of the castle. The priest was fatally shot, and it is said that he cursed the estate with his dying breaths, saying that the castle gates would never close and that the land would become overgrown. The ghost of the priest is said to walk along the stone path over which the dispute arose, and it could well have been his spirit that opened the gates at night, even when they had been chained shut. Such was the state of the overgrown entrance, that the owner was forced to relocate it.

A mysterious elderly lady has been sighted in the “blue room” and the ethereal sound of a horse and carriage approaching over gravel has been heard, followed by a knock on the front door. Of course, nobody is ever there when the door is answered and there are no horses to be seen either. Experiences below stairs have included servant bells ringing, even though they are no longer in use.


Venue Name
Classification(s)
Address
Paulstown, Kilkenny, R95 N7F3, Ireland

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Admission Policies
Restricted Access
Seasonal Opening Arrangements Apply
Admission Fee Applies
Facilities & Services
Café / Coffee Shop / Restaurant
Car Park
Gardens
Guided Tours Available (conditions apply)

Additional Notes

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