Puck’s Castle | Shankill, Dublin

These are the ruins of Puck’s Castle, located in south county Dublin. Many of these structures were built around Dublin between 1400 and 1550 to protect the ‘Pale’ from the ‘wild Irish’. It is said to be built from sacred stones culled from the nearby Bearna Dhearg (or “ringfort”), but little is really known for certain about the structure today.

Other similar structures in the area include Shankill Castle, Shanganagh Castle, Kilgobbin Castle, and this one that is locally known as Puck’s Castle. The name ‘Puck’s’ derives from the Gaelic ‘Pooka’ which is a ghost or spirit and lends to the local legends of it being a haunted spot. In June 1867, Jane Eleanor Sherrard, the daughter of a local Englishman disappeared near the castle after she went out to pick flowers for her table. The police organised a widespread search but the last ever confirmed sighting of Jane was by the local postman who reported seeing Jane picking flowers at the castle. To this day the circumstances surrounding her disappearance remain unknown. There is very little information about its history except that it provided a refuge for James II and members of his army after fleeing the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Sunset over Puck’s Castle | Ben Collins
Rathmichael Church Ruins | Joe King/Flickr CC

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