Kilkea Castle

Kilkea Castle


Location: 5 km (3 mi) Northwest of Castledermot

Constructed: 1181 by Sir Walter de Riddlesford


Description of Kilkea Castle


Kilkea Castle is a medieval castle in a village of Kilkea, 5 km (3 mi) Northwest of Castledermot in Kildare County in Ireland. Kilkea Castle was erected in 1181 by Sir Walter de Riddlesford. Many tourists that visited this place claim that it is haunted. Many saw a figure of a man in old fashion clothes roam through the halls of the Kilkea Castle. Some claim that it is a spirit of a young man who was caught in the bedroom of the lord's daughter. Unlucky fellow was subsequently killed, but his ghost never left the place. Another legend claims that every seven years a ghost of Earl Gerald rises from the grave to defend his homeland against enemies.



Kilkee Castle was built by Sir Walter de Riddlesford in 1180 after the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland. The first castle was built on the type of "mott and Bailey" - a wooden castle on an artificial hill. The granddaughter of Sir Walter married Maurice Fitzgerald, Baron Offaly, so Kilki fell into the possession of the Fitzgerald feudal lords, who owned this castle for more than 700 years.

Sir Thomas de Roqueby, the chief justice of Ireland, used the castle as his residence and main military base and died here in 1356.

The castle is associated with the whole history of the Heralds - branches of the Fitzgerald clan and their supporters and allies. Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, who went down in history as Earl of Wizard, lived in the castle. He became the leader of the Heralds at the age of only 20, after his half-brother Thomas Fitzgerald went down the block and lost his head in Tyburn in 1537 after his unsuccessful rebellion against the King of England, which went down in history as the “Silk Thomas Rise”.

In 1634, the castle received a Jesuit order for rent. The lease was allowed by the widow of the XIV Earl of Kildare. The Jesuits remained in the castle until 1646. In 1646, Archbishop Rinuzzini, the papal nuncio, ambassador of the Holy See to the Irish Confederation, lived in the castle. At that time, an uprising for the independence of Ireland was raging, an independent Irish Confederation was proclaimed, and for several years most of Ireland was independent until Oliver Cromwell drowned the uprising in blood.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Earl of Kildare decided to change the residence. He moved to Cardboard House. Kilky Castle was rented by various residents. Among them was Thomas Reynolds, a silk merchant from Dublin who was a traitor to the rebels in 1798. During this uprising for the independence of Ireland, he entered into confidence in Edward Fitzgerald, who was one of the leaders of the United Irish organization. He betrayed the rebels and the English army was informed of all the main forces of the rebels. This was one of the reasons for the defeat of the uprising, the castle was then suddenly captured by the English army.

In 1849, a fire broke out in the castle. The castle was renovated by Lord Walter, III Duke of Leinster. He lived in this castle, was the founder of the Kildare Archaeological Society in 1891, was a famous second-hand book dealer and connoisseur of ireland Ireland, and was the editor of the Journal of the Association for the Protection of the Dead in Ireland from 1904 until his death in 1923. In 1949, Cardboard House was sold and Kilkee Castle became the residence of the 8th Duke of Leinster.

In 1960, the Fitzgerald family sold the Kilkee estate and castle. The castle was converted into a hotel, the hotel was unprofitable and it was closed. Now nobody needs a castle. It was put up for sale in 2009, but so far no one has bought the castle.

Ernest Shackleton, a polar explorer (1874-1922), was born at Kilkee Castle. Ernest was born into a family of Quakers who have been flour mills at Kilkee Castle for over 100 years.