McKenna's Castle

McKenna's Castle

McKenna's Castle, also known as Ardo Castle or House, or Ardoginna House lies in the townland of Ballyfoile, in County Waterford in Ireland.

Exactly when this castellated mansion was first built is unknown. In 1619 the FitzGerald family had given a 47-year lease to a Pierce Power. Later that century a Richard Costen was mentioned as an heir. Legend has it that he stole a precious cup from the mansion and was then pursued by members of the household staff over the neighbouring cliffs. He then was either strangled in his horse's rein when they fell or was caught hiding in a nearby seaside cave and then hanged.

In the late 17th century the mansion was acquired by Sir Francis Prendergast. Apparently he was quite a maniac as he reputedly hanged a servant whose skeleton was later found under the dining room floor. At the same time there was also a report of a child's skeleton being found under a stair in the house.

The estate passed to the Coughlan/Coghlan family around the turn of the 18th century. They later fell on hard times and the Widow Coughlan resorted to smuggling, making use of the quiet coastline near the castle. One of her daughters left for England and married the widowed French emigré Duc de Castries.

In 1865 the castle was bought by Sir Joseph McKenna. Hence the present name of the castle. He is said to have added the curtain wall and towers to the mansion. He also built a mausoleum for his wife and himself next to the road at the entrance of the estate. They were laid to rest there in 1906. His descendants inhabited the castle until around WW I. After that war, in 1922, it was abandoned.

McKenna's Castle is situated on private land so access is not advised. A very nice and atmospheric ruin. The mausoleum is rather creepy...


Gallery

McKenna's Castle

McKenna's Castle

McKenna's Castle, also known as Ardo Castle or House, or Ardoginna House lies in the townland of Ballyfoile, in County Waterford in Ireland.

Exactly when this castellated mansion was first built is unknown. In 1619 the FitzGerald family had given a 47-year lease to a Pierce Power. Later that century a Richard Costen was mentioned as an heir. Legend has it that he stole a precious cup from the mansion and was then pursued by members of the household staff over the neighbouring cliffs. He then was either strangled in his horse's rein when they fell or was caught hiding in a nearby seaside cave and then hanged.

In the late 17th century the mansion was acquired by Sir Francis Prendergast. Apparently he was quite a maniac as he reputedly hanged a servant whose skeleton was later found under the dining room floor. At the same time there was also a report of a child's skeleton being found under a stair in the house.

The estate passed to the Coughlan/Coghlan family around the turn of the 18th century. They later fell on hard times and the Widow Coughlan resorted to smuggling, making use of the quiet coastline near the castle. One of her daughters left for England and married the widowed French emigré Duc de Castries.

In 1865 the castle was bought by Sir Joseph McKenna. Hence the present name of the castle. He is said to have added the curtain wall and towers to the mansion. He also built a mausoleum for his wife and himself next to the road at the entrance of the estate. They were laid to rest there in 1906. His descendants inhabited the castle until around WW I. After that war, in 1922, it was abandoned.

McKenna's Castle is situated on private land so access is not advised. A very nice and atmospheric ruin. The mausoleum is rather creepy...


Gallery