Photographer's Note

Pictured here is Gormanston Castle in County Meath, it lies just south of Drogheda and about 30km north of Dublin. It is on the Meath side of the Meath / Dublin border and close to the river Delvin.

The site has been occupied by a castle since the 1400's and had been the ancestral home of the Preston Family until the 1940's. The castle we see here dates from 1786 and it was built by the Preston family on the exact site of a former castle. It is an impressive building, quadrangle in plan and with towers on three of the four corners. The front elevation of the building is three stories in height and the main entrance is flanked by two more narrow towers.

According to legend, the foxes of County Meath would gather around the castle when the head of the Preston family is about to die. There is a fox present in the family crest of the Preston family. This is said to be in thanks for the protection from ravenous predators of a vixen and her young cubs by a previous Lord Gormanston. While this unusual sight is said to have been witnessed many times over the past century, it is more than 30 years since it was last reported.

The Preston family managed to hold onto their estate from the 1400's right through to the 1940's, despite being Catholics. Over the years many Catholic families had their lands removed and were made exiles in Ireland. The head of the Preston famil is known as Viscount Gormanston, the premier Viscount of Ireland. That title is currently held by Jenico Preston who lives in London.

In 1947, the castle was sold to the Franciscan order who developed a school here. The castle itself opened as a school in 1954 and a new additional college building was built in 1955. The castle remains as a school today, with over 500 students in attendance.

In addition to the castle itself, there is also a very spooky Yew Tree walk which leads from the castle to the cemetery where previous Franciscan priests lie at rest.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4177 W: 26 N: 9240] (33774)
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