Castle Roche, also known as Castleroche or Roche Castle, lies in the hilly countryside, west of the hamlet of Ballinfuil, north west of the city of Dundalk, in County Louth in Ireland.
Castle Roche was built in 1236 by Lady Rohesia de Verdun. She reputedly threw the builder of the castle out of a window after its completion to preserve the castle's secrets. This blocked up window is still known as the Murder Window. Her son John made a lot of alterations to the castle.
In early records Castle Roche was called Castellum de Rupe or Castle on the Rock for obvious reasons. This Norman castle, situated on a rocky hilltop, stood on the border of the province of Ulster and the Anglo-Norman territory known as The Pale. It controlled a pass into Armagh.
Castle Roche has a triangular layout, determined by the shape of the rock it stands on. It is a large enclosure with a formidable twin-towered gatehouse linked to a once impressive Great Hall. There is a cliff on two sides and the third is protected by a rock-cut ditch which was probably spanned by a drawbridge. At present there aren't much remains of buildings inside the castle.
In 1561 a hosting of all English forces in Ireland took place here. In 1641 the Castle Roche was laid to ruin during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
This is a great castle ruin. Remote and on a beautiful location even in rainy weather. Recommended. I do not know if the farmlands on which it stands are freely accessible, they were when I visited.