The White Lady of Kinsale, The Haunting Tale of True Love that ended in Sorrow, Charlesfort where a Bride still haunts the ancient walls where her tragic suicide took place high above jagged cliffs and roaring seas.
Ireland is an island filled with historic buildings and haunted places all holding the stories and tragedy of their past close within their walls, some which are now crumbling. Where now only ruins stand in the place of what were once some of Irelands most prominent buildings.
With these places, there are also tales of tragedy and intrigue. Our haunted buildings and residences have for years intrigued generations from all over the world. One of the ghostly tales that it foremost in my mind is the tale of tragic love, the story of The White Lady of Kinsale.
Kinsale is a beautiful seaside resort in County Cork, but don’t be fooled by its innocent picturesque exterior, Kinsale is well known as one of Ireland’s most haunted towns. Soaked in history, it is not hard to understand why otherworldly residents choose to stay in Kinsale. Kinsale is located at the estuary of the River Bandon and has a charter that dates to the time of Edward III but a history that is much older.
Celtic Kings and warriors once graced the shores of Kinsale. Among some of Kinsale, historic tales is that of a Spanish fleet which landed at Kinsale in 1601, held Kinsale against English forces but were forced to surrender even with the help of Irish forces under the command of the Earls of Tyrone and Tirconnell. A Clerk in the Court of Kinsale named William Penn would go on to found the State of Pennsylvania.
Kinsale is rich in culture and is now known as the food capital of Ireland with lively Bars, Restaurants and luxury Hotels. Underneath the colorful exterior is a tale so harrowing that it brings tears to the eyes. This story of sorrow is located at the world famous Charles Fort. This once magnificent Star Shaped Fort, now in ruins, stands about a mile from Kinsale town at Summer Cove.
The White Lady of Kinsale still floats along the ruined Ramparts of Charlesfort telling her tale to us from beyond the grave. This beautiful young woman was the beautiful daughter of the Fort Commander. She fell blissfully in love with an Officer that who stationed at Charlesfort.
She had led a privileged life in Kinsale, and her life had become complete on marrying the love of her life. On the night of their wedding, the newlyweds decided to take a stroll along the Ramparts of Charlesfort to take in the night air and the romance of the Ocean crashing beneath them.
As they walked the new Bride saw a single white rose growing on the cliffs below and her new Husband wanting to keep his new bride happy, ordered a Sentry located close by to climb down and fetch it for him to present to his new Bride.
The Sentry agreed as long as the Officer took his place at his post while he retrieved the Rose. As they waited there was no sign of the young soldier returning, so fearing his new Bride would see the boy had fallen, the officer sent her back to their quarters within the Fort to wait for him to return.
As he continued to wait, he fell asleep at the post. As he was sleeping his new father in law, the Commander, came across a sleeping Sentry. As was military protocol, he shot the Sentry on sight for falling asleep at his post. He did not realize he was his new Son in Law.
As soon as he realized his mistake he could not live with the pain he was about to cause his daughter and throw himself over the Rampant onto the jagged rocks below. A little while later the young Bride came looking for her Husband but found him dead and saw that her father had killed her Husband and himself.
She too threw herself from the Ramparts of the Fort on the rocks below, unable to live with her grief and the tragedy that had taken over her life.
The tragic figure of The White Lady of Kinsale as she is now known can be seen walking at dusk along the Ramparts where her life ended tragically. She is still dressed in her wedding dress, a constant reminder of the happiness and tragedy that took place on a special day in her life.
Many since that fateful day have seen her. Many reports were made by the soldiers of Charlesfort and by their family members. The White Lady most commonly appears to Children. There was a report of a nurse in the hospital wing seeing a lady dressed in White leaning over the bed of a child.
As well as reports of soldiers pushed down the stairs of the Fort, she is also seen walking through her native town of Kinsale. Charlesfort remained in military use until 1922. It is now a National Monument of Ireland and is under the protection of the Irish Office of Public Works. It is possible to visit the magnificent Fort, and you might catch a glimpse of the shadowy figure of The White Lady.