The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

Castletown house – The local landlord and the devil

SCHOOL: Leixlip | ADDRESS: Leixlip, Co. Kildare

Proud Irish Heritage . The Devil at Castletown House.
The Devil at Castletown House.

The Connollys of Castletown house have four hundred of years been the local landlord of Leixlip. As landlords they have been considered very good and always kept their tenants in every way, and instead of visiting their tenants they have harboured and helped people who have been evicted by some other local landlord.

As far as I can make out the Connolly family have always reigned supreme here. There are various stories told about them.

One morning early in the hunting season the present Major Connolly’s grandfather was heard to remark “I will ride with the devil to-day”.

During the day a stranger appeared on the hunting field mounted on a magnificent black horse. Major Connolly noticed this magnificent animal and immediately sought to speak to him. He there upon devoted all his time to his newly found friend. After the dinner they decided to play cards. During the game one of the members dropped a card and the butler who was near stooped to pick up the fallen card.

When he [noticest] that the honoured guest had a cloven foot. He was greatly shocked and whispered his master that he was playing cards with the devil.

The master hearing this accused the stranger of being the devil but he only laughed. The butler who was a Catholic told Major Connolly to send for the priest.

When the priest arrived he ordered everybody to leave the room except the devil. It is said that the devil wanted to go through the roof or the windows but the priest drove him through the hearthstone.

Up to the present day there is a crack in the hearthstone and he left the mark of his feet on the floor they were unable to get the mark off the floor.

The room is always now locked.

It is said that the priest did not live long after that.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0773, Page 277” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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