Ross Castle

A lakeside citadel steeped in legend.

Ross Castle perches in an inlet of Lough Leane. It is likely that the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór built it in the fifteenth century.

Legend has it that O’Donoghue still slumbers under the waters of the lake. Every seven years, on the first morning of May, he rises on his magnificent white horse. If you manage to catch a glimpse of him you will enjoy good fortune for the rest of your life.

Ross Castle was the last place in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. Its defenders, then led by Lord Muskerry, took confidence from a prophecy holding that the castle could only be taken by a ship. Knowing of the prophecy, the Cromwellian commander, General Ludlow, launched a large boat on the lake. When the defenders saw it, this hastened the surrender – and the prophecy was fulfilled.

Source and image credit: Heritage Ireland OPW