Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Foulksrath Castle is located in Jenkinstown, south of Ballyragget, 8 miles from the city of Kilkenny. It is set amongst open fields and woodland.
The castle is a 15th century Anglo Norman tower house set over 5 storeys in 2 acres of land. It has retained its huge stone fireplaces and spiral staircase and from the first floor it is possible to gain access via a secret passage to the roof with its views across Jenkinstown.
The castle is well preserved and its boundary wall and tower still survive along with a gate lodge and pigeon loft house. The tower now has a pitched roof over the centre and the crenellated battlements are still accessible.
Until the end of October 2009 Foulksrath Castle was one of the oldest Youth Hostels in Ireland. The hostel is now closed and the property up for sale by its owners. The property was able to accommodate 52 visitors.
The castle was built in 1616 by the Purcell clan and the property stayed within the family for over 300 years. During the latter years the family were forced to live in outbuildings as peasants after the castle was confiscated by Cromwell’s troops during the Conquest of Ireland.
The castle fell into disrepair and had a demolition order served upon it in 1946 but thanks to the local community the castle was saved. It was renovated and opened as a hostel in 1948.
The hostel was put up for sale in May 2009 and closed its doors for the last time on the 31 October. The castles owners An Oige are selling the property for offers in the region of €750,000.00.
It is believed that there are two ghosts in the castle. The first being the daughter of Dean Swift, one of the castles owners. Allegedly she fell in love and her father locked her away in the ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ to prevent the lovers from seeing one another before he eventually killed her. The other ghost being a woman who was killed by her lover who spreads the scent of lilacs; maybe they are one and the same person?
Other Castles in the Area
Ballybur Castle, County Kilkenny
Ballyragget Castle, County Kilkenny
Burnchurch Castle, County Kilkenny
Carlow Castle, County Carlow
Castle Durrow, County Laois
Clara Castle, County Kilkenny
Clomantagh Castle, County Kilkenny
Dysart Castle, County Kilkenny
Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny
Leighlinbridge Castle, County Carlow
Milltown St John Castle, County Tipperary
Tinnahinch Castle, County Carlow
White's Castle, County Kildare