We were visiting a friend in Tullamore Co Offaly and I asked my friend about the castle which I had just read about.I really wanted to and check this place out and it was not far from where he lived. His father dropped us off at the long winding tree covered lane which was the path that led to the castle. I have to say I was so excited walking up this really creepy lane after about a 15 minute walk there it was in all its glory the beautiful Charleville Castle.Below the creepy road,I would not fancy walking up this road alone in the dead of night.
Charleville Castle is situated in Ireland’s most ancient primordial oak woods, once the haunting grounds of Ireland’s druids. The Castle grew from paper doodles in early 1798 to grandiose plans by the end of that very eventful year in Ireland. It was built by Charles William Bury, Earl of Charleville and was designed by Francis Johnston, one of the leading architects of the day. Charleville Castle is said to be the finest example of gothic-revival architecture in the country.It really is quite impressive.
The entrance in to castle pictured above,on the day we went to the castle there was very limited access to the castle because they were preparing for a music event to take place on the castle grounds that weekend.The is a lot of restoration work needed to restore this amazing place to its former glory,however that takes a lot of money which the estate does not have.They have many great volunteers working tirelessly to try and maintain the building and repair it as much as they can.
The castle is reputed to be haunted by a little girl named Harriet, youngest daughter of the third Earl of Charleville,who died tragically in the main staircase of the building at the age of 8 in April 1861. She was apparently sent upstairs to wash her hands before dinner, and on her way back down she decided to slide down the balustrade, she unfortunately lost her grip and crashed to the floor. Her presence in the castle has been reported numerous times by many different people… Singing in the middle of the night, laughing, screams, etc…Some people think they have caught her on their cameras as they can see shadows or mists on the pictures they took within the castle… there is a video of a possible capture of Harriet floating around Youtube somewhere.Others have also said to have seen an image of a little girl with a blue and white dress, with golden curls with blue ribbons in the hair. After Harriet’s unfortunate death, her grief-stricken parents had a railing erected on the banister. Now removed, notches are still visible all along the railing, indicating where the railing had been attached.Below is the impressive main staircase known as Harriet’s staircase.
For years, the castle has been investigated by numerous paranormal investigators and psychics from around the world. Charleville Castle appeared on Living TV’s Most Haunted and ABC Family’s Scariest Places On Earth, as well as on Ghost Hunters International.I think you can book tours and overnight stays in the Castle also.
Ms. Vance’s mother family who owned the castle in the 1970s awoke one night in her tower bedroom to witness what she called a “cavalcade” of ghosts, including a large number of robed, monk-like figures who seemed to encircle her bed and offer her a blessing.A guest of Ms. Vance had bedded down in a spare room after a party, but was kept awake by a boisterous conversation held by two unseen Englishmen of another age. Disconcerted by the invisible interlopers, he finally was able to get some rest after turning the lights back on and keeping the door to the room open.
One of the legends of Charleville Castle is that of the “King Oak” which is at the start of the lane on the way to the castle, which is reputed to be one of the oldest oaks trees in Ireland it is a huge, ancient tree that had a special relationship to the Bury family. It was said that if one of the branches fell from the tree, a member of the family would pass away shortly. In 1963 the oak was hit by a devastating lightning strike. The tree managed to survive, but within a matter of days Colonel Charles Howard-Bury, the head of the Bury family and last of the family to own the castle, died unexpectedly.
What a view
This amazing property is now maintained by the Charleville Castle Heritage Trust, which hosts many events at the castle. Please visit their site for more information on Charleville: http://charlevillecastle.ie/_mgxroot/page_home.
So if you ever find yourself in Tullamore Co Offaly, this place is really worth a visit who knows you might see a ghost two .