Cabra Castle - A Luxurious Encounter With Past, Present And The Paranormal
Wednesday 10th, April 2024
Ireland Report / Story
Nestled amidst the verdant landscapes of Ireland, Cabra Castle stands as a testament to centuries past, its walls echoing with tales of love, tragedy, and the paranormal. Recently, we had the privilege of immersing ourselves in the timeless allure of this historic gem, and what unfolded was an experience that transcended mere accommodation, delving deep into the realms of legend and intrigue.

Upon arrival, the approach to Cabra Castle is nothing short of awe-inspiring. As you wind along the single carriageway, flanked by the imposing silhouette of the castle and the owner's house perched regally atop a hill, a sense of anticipation begins to build. The turrets and main building emerge from the surrounding trees, casting an enchanting spell over all who behold it.

Steeped in history, Cabra Castle was erected at the dawn of the 19th century, its grandeur encompassing 100 acres of unspoiled gardens and parkland. While it initially served as a noble residence, the castle underwent a transformation in the 1990s, metamorphosing into a luxurious hotel boasting 105 opulent guest bedrooms.

Originally belonging to the O'Reilly family, Cabra Castle faced a pivotal moment in the mid-17th century when it was confiscated under Cromwell's orders. Passed into the hands of Colonel Thomas Cooch, the castle eventually found its way to the Pratt family, who would shape its destiny for generations to come.

One of the key figures in Cabra Castle's history was Colonel Joseph Pratt, who acquired the nearby Cormy Castle in 1813. Renaming it Cabra Castle around 1820, Colonel Pratt laid the foundation for its modern identity.

The Pratt family's tenure at Cabra Castle endured for generations, with ownership passing down through the family line. However, by the mid-20th century, changing circumstances led to the castle's transition into new hands.

Following the death of Major Mervyn Pratt in 1950, Cabra Castle faced a period of uncertainty. Eventually sold to Mervyn Sheppard in 1964, the castle underwent a transformation, evolving from a familial estate into a hotel under the ownership of the Brennan family.

Despite changing ownership over the years, Cabra Castle remained a symbol of elegance and charm, attracting visitors from near and far. Its allure only grew when the Corscadden family acquired the property in 1991, embarking on an ambitious journey of restoration and expansion which brings us to the present day.

Yet, beneath its elegant facade lies a tapestry of tales, woven from the threads of bygone eras. The most poignant of these narratives revolves around Sarah, a maidservant whose ill-fated love affair led to her untimely demise in the 1780s. Forbidden from embracing her paramour, Sarah paid the ultimate price for her love, meeting a tragic end at the hands of the castle's owners. A young man (and presumed heir to the castle), had fallen in love with Sarah. Given the time, such an affair would never have been permitted let alone accepted, so despite the true love they shared, it was forbidden, and they kept their relationship out of sight.

That was all well and good until Sarah became pregnant with his child. When the pregnancy and the relationship were discovered, the castle owners showed no mercy towards poor Sarah and demanded that she be killed. The story goes that Sarah was taken into the forest where she was hung from a bridge.

Her spectral presence is said to linger within the castle walls, accompanied by the haunting cries of an infant in the dead of night.

The ethereal ambiance of Cabra Castle is further heightened by the myriad paranormal phenomena reported by guests over the years. From flickering lights to unexplained noises and apparitions, the castle seems to harbor secrets that defy rational explanation. One cannot help but be captivated by the allure of the unknown as they traverse its ancient corridors and chambers.

As we explored the castle's interior, we were struck by the sheer abundance of paintings adorning its walls, with over 400 frames hanging in every nook and cranny, the castle exudes an air of aristocratic splendor, transporting visitors back to a bygone era. The presence of four suits of armor only adds to the atmosphere of medieval grandeur, evoking visions of chivalry and valiant knights.

However, amidst the opulence lies a mystery that continues to perplex visitors, the enigma of the location of poor Sarah's demise. While many believe it to be near the infamous hanging tree on the hotel grounds, stories and other accounts paint a different picture. Possible the hanging tree out the door of the main castle is an easier solution to point tourists to that wish to visit the site of Sarah's final moments instead of having to draw a map explaining where the actual location of Sarah's hanging was or is it even possible that the true location of Sarah's demise has been lost to time!?

Despite the spectral whispers and lingering mysteries, Cabra Castle remains a haven of tranquility and refinement. During our stay, a wedding was taking place, infusing the castle with an atmosphere of celebration and joy. The wedding which was a blessing in disguise as the few guests not attending the wedding barely filled up the rest of the hotel making for a nice peaceful stay.

The hospitality extended by the castle's staff further enhances the guest experience, with their warm welcome and attentive service adding a personal touch to the proceedings. Whether dining in the elegant restaurant or relaxing in the comfort of one's room, every moment spent at Cabra Castle feels like a journey through time, where history and legend intertwine in a mesmerizing dance.

Cabra Castle stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Ireland's rich cultural heritage. From its majestic facade to its labyrinthine corridors, every aspect of the castle exudes an air of mystery and enchantment. Whether you seek a tranquil retreat amidst scenic landscapes or a brush with the paranormal, Cabra Castle offers an experience that transcends the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on all who venture within its hallowed halls.

And you never know who you might bump into while walking down the corridors in the dead of night.
Here at our aim is to bring you the latest, accurate and most up to date information in unexplained mysteries, strange phenomena, the paranormal, disappearances and the oddities of the universe, especially based in and around Ireland.


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