Charleville Forest Castle


The story of Charleville Forest Castle.

Charleville Forest Castle in Ireland was built between 1798 and 1812 for the Charleville family. The designer, Francis Johnston and the first Earl of Charleville Charles William Bury worked together to build an excellent castle showing the extravagant taste of the Charleville family. It took longer than it should have to build this unique castle, because the Charleville family was not only extravagant in their taste but also in the fact that they lived beyond their means. Construction on the castle would cease for awhile and then come back stronger and with even more flamboyant creations such as the fabulous ceiling work in the dining room that was created by William Morris, the ceiling today lives on. The castle had periods where the family would live on the premises, but most of the time the castle stood empty. By the 1960’s it was pretty much left abandoned.

Today, Charleville Forest Castle is owned by Bridget Vance who is in the process of refurbishing the castle to its once stately and magnificent stature. However, the work has not been easy, not because of the construction but because of the ghosts. While local craftsmen are bringing the castle back to life, so to speak, they are also awakening spirits that remain in there. Recently, Charleville Forest Castle was given the title of “Ireland’s spookiest castle”.

Some of the ghosts that have been awoken include the sounds of children playing in the nursery. Once this ghostly children locked Kate, Bridget’s daughter in the cupboard in the nursery.
Richard Hayes had decided to stay the night with the family after a party at the castle. He made himself a pallet on the floor with his bedroll and was ready for slumber. However, the next morning, Bridget’s children asked why their guest had slept with his door open and the lights on in the room. Bridget came to learn that Richard had overheard the drunken conversation of two older English men, which because of their speech had to be from another era.

Appearances of ghosts cannot be forgotten, Harriet’s ghost is still in the castle where she lost her life. She had gone upstairs to wash her hands, wearing a blue chiffon dress, on her back down the stairs, she was playing as any child would on the winding staircase, and however, as she was sliding down the banister she fell to her death. Many have seen her playing on the staircase as if she was still coming down the stairs as she did so many years ago.

Charleville Forest Castle

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