The estate was founded in 1349 and occupied by the De Frene family. In the early 15th century the current castle was built by the Purcell family, relatives to the De Frene's. Throughout the centuries, ownership varied. In the early 20th century the castle lay empty and began to fall into ruin. Following public appeals, it was restored and became a hostel which closed in 2009. Foulksrath Castle is now privately owned and not open to the public.
The castle is reputedly haunted by three ghosts. These include a female ghost said to look out from the castle windows; a woman who wanders the castle accompanied by the scent of wild flowers, or lilacs; and a guard who fell asleep on duty and was thrown to his death from the ramparts of the castle in punishment. His footsteps and a door opening can be heard as he wanders the castle to make amends for his carelessness every 29th November during the early morning hours.
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For further information, please read Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland by Richard Jones.