This foreboding looking building is Athcarne Castle. It was built for William Bathe in 1590. The Bathe family produced a number of well known legal and political personalities around the 16th and 17th century. It originally comprised of an Elizabethan tower house, a three storied mansion and a corner turret but was renovated around 1830 with the addition of a large three story turret. It lies just six miles from the site of the Battle of the Boyne and it is said that James II stayed here on the night before the event in 1690. The last occupant was James Gernon who lived there until the 1950’s when the building was partly demolished and has stayed in a state of dangerous ruin since. Legends about the castle include cries of dying soldiers heard at night and the spectre of a hanged soldier on the great oak tree adjacent. The most disturbing tale is a recent one by a local worker who claimed to have seen the face of “a demented girl with blood covered hands” !

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