Ross Castle is the first castle I have ever been to (not counting Disneyland castle in Florida). The sheer span of this imposing structure perched on a majestic site overlooking the calm waters of the lake will simply take your breath away. The sound your feet makes against the small stones scattered all around the castle grounds gives a little taste of what life would have been like back then. Much of the original structure remains unscathed and walking around the castle allows you to imagine all the merriment of those who habituated the castle long ago.
The History of Ross Castle
Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower house and keep, is one of the main attractions in Killarney National Park in County Kerry. It sits on the edge of Lough Leane. It was built by O’Donoghue Mór and it is the ancestral home of the O’Donoghue clan. The Castle came into the hands of the Brownes who became the Earls of Kenmare and owned an extensive portion of the lands that are now part of Killarney National Park. Ross Castle was amongst the last stronghold in Munster to hold out against Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads during the Irish Confederate Wars.
Interesting Tale About the Castle
Legend says that O’ Donoghue still exists in a deep slumber under the waters of Lough Leane. On the first morning of May every seven years, O’ Donoghue rises from the lake on his magnificent white horse and circles the lake. Good fortune for the rest of their lives awaits those who can catch a glimpse of him.
When You Visit Ross Castle
If you drive to Ross castle, there is a big car park around the area for tourists. There is a carriage ride too that will you take you from town to the castle. An entry fee is collected inclusive of a guided tour if you must enter the castle. But you can wander around the ramparts without paying. The views outside include a forest to one side and a lake to the other. You can have a picnic and feed the ducks. However, I hope they will put up more picnic tables near the castle grounds. You can also embark on lake boat trips and get a stunning view of Ross castle from a different angle. Visiting the castle is a must if you happen to be in Killarney.