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Secrets of Blackwater Castle: Ghosts, Battles, and a 500-Year Legacy!

Step into a world where ancient walls whisper untold stories, and shadows, hold secrets of a bygone era. Blackwater Castle, a legendary fortress steeped in Ireland's rich history, opens its gates to reveal tales of valour, betrayal, and spectral hauntings.

Blackwater Castle

Nestled in the heart of Ireland's lush countryside, Blackwater Castle, once referred to as Castle Widenham, is a captivating blend of historical events and mythological tales. Located in the picturesque village of Castletownroche, this enchanting estate seamlessly blends medieval charm with modern luxury, offering an exclusive retreat for weddings, private celebrations, and idyllic vacations.


With its foundations rooted in the 12th century, Blackwater Castle proudly stands as one of Ireland's oldest continuously inhabited castles. The structure weaves a story spanning centuries, from its earliest residential sections dating back to the 15th century to the enduring round tower from the late 12th century.

Blackwater Castle Stone Circle

This architectural marvel was originally built upon the ancient stronghold of Dun Cruadha, a Bronze Age fort, echoing tales from as far back as the Mesolithic era.


The castle's storied past began with the Cambro-Norman descendants of Maurice FitzGerald, who established their fortress here after the Norman Invasion of Ireland. It was a marriage that transformed the landscape; Synolda, daughter of Alexander Fitzhugh, wed David de la Roche, marking the dawn of Roche Country. For centuries, the castle remained under the watchful guard of the Roche family until it was passed to Colonel John Widenham in 1666, henceforth known as Castle Widenham.

Blackwater Castle passageway

The 20th century brought new life to the castle, with Sir Delaval Cotter undertaking extensive restorations. Changing hands several times, it was eventually acquired by the Nordstrom Family Trust in 1991. Today, as Blackwater Castle, it is not just a historical monument but a vibrant venue for celebrations and a hub for outdoor adventure.


Yet, behind its stately walls and scenic beauty, Blackwater Castle harbours echoes of a turbulent past. During the Roche family's 500-year tenure, the castle witnessed battles and betrayals.

Lady Roache Blackwater Castle

The most notable is the story of Lady Ellen Roche, who valiantly defended her home against Cromwell's forces in 1650. Despite her courage, the castle fell, leading to her imprisonment and the execution of her loyal officers, whose spirits are said to still linger by the river, unrested and unburied.


Lady Roche's tragic fate - hanged for a crime she never committed - adds a haunting layer to the castle's lore. Visitors often whisper about sightings of her spectral figure, draped in a hooded cloak, wandering the castle and its grounds, a lingering reminder of the castle's dramatic history.


As Blackwater Castle prepares to unveil its secrets in this week's episode of Spooked Ireland, prepare to be captivated by its mystical allure, a place where history and legend converge deeper than most places, creating an unforgettable journey through Ireland's past.


Really Channel 9 pm Friday 24th November 2023 and available to stream on Discovery+

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