Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Ghosts and Lost Treasure of Castle Coch...

I haven't written about a haunted castle lately and I've missed it! Since we're solidly into our Court of the Hawk book tour & Giveaway, I thought I'd tell you about a beautiful, fairytale Castle in Tongwynlais, Cardiff, Wales, known as Castle Coch.

Engraving titled "CASTELL COCH, ON THE TAFF." circa 1874

Now Castle Coch (or the Red Castle so named for the red sandstone used in its creation) had its origins way back in the year 1081 when the Normans built it to protect Cardiff after they conquered and took possession of the town. As fortunes come and go, they deserted the castle shortly thereafter and a century or two later, Gilbert de Clare used the earth motte left behind, and erected a stone fortress somewhere around 1275, give or take a couple of years in either direction. Then, early during the fourteenth century, the castle was destroyed during the Welsh rebellion. The Marquesses of Bute were then given the castle as part of a marriage contract in 1760. 

Suffice it to say, the castle changed hands many more times during its history and is now in the custody of the Welsh heritage agency.

Now for the fun stuff:

A couple of centuries ago, when the castle was falling into ruin, the young son of Dame Griffiths drowned. Try as they might, they were never able to recover his body. His brokenhearted mother died shortly thereafter. However, her spirit has never found solace and they say that to this very day, she haunts the castle and woodlands, searching for her lost son.

The Cavalier ghost is as well known as Dame Griffiths. The sightings of his ghost began about the time a "lady of good family" restored several rooms in the castle and moved in with two of her servants, consisting of a man and his wife. They all heard strange noises at night but shrugged them off as nothing more than common rats or birds. At least they did until one night our lovely lady of the castle woke up and saw the ghostly Cavalier staring at her...a disconcerting thing to say the least. The expression on his face was one of unbearable grief and after several heart-stopping seconds, he vanished through the door that was bolted and locked.

The residents of the castle saw him many times after that. A local legend speaks of this Cavalier as a former owner (unnamed) of the castle who had hidden a wealth of treasure in a secret passage, underground, that led to the castle Coch. Yet, before he had the opportunity to enjoy his hoard, he was killed by a single blast from a warring cannon.

Nothing brings in unwanted company like stories of lost treasure though, and shortly after the Cavalier's demise, a group of men set out to find it. They relentlessly explored the dank, dark, hidden passageways. No easy feat...but at long last they spied four, bright red lights ahead in the distance. Giddy with excitement, they made all haste toward it. At length they discovered the lights were the eyes of two enormous eagles who were calmly perched atop an iron chest.

Edvard Isto "The Attack" 1899
Surely this had to be the treasure! They rushed toward their prize with the greatest of enthusiasm in the same moment the enraged eagles with powerful beaks and claws extended, forced their retreat. These men made several attempts to gain the treasure in the days that followed--normal bullets, silver bullets, holy water, and even exorcism. Nothing worked. Each time they tried, the punishment dished out by our vigilant, feathered sentinels were far harsher than what they were the time before. The treasure-seekers finally gave up. Some say the vast wealth of the Cavalier...and the eagles...are still there. The question is, are you brave enough to look for it yourself?

This week our Court of the Hawk Book Tour and Giveaway takes us to Bookschatter for some fun questions and answers. Come say hello and enter for your chance to win!

Get Caught Up for additional chances to win!

June 16: Romance Novel Giveaways
June 23: Rogues Angels
June 23: Long and Short Reviews
July 7: Bookschatter
July 14: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews

This week's stop, July 21: I'm doing a guest post at  Books and Other Spells!

Remaining Stops:

July 28: The Reading Addict
August 4: Blog of author Jacey Holbrand
August 11: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock - book review
August 11: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books! - book review
August 18: Booklover Sue
August 25: CBY Book Club
September 1: Katherine Givens: Historical Romance Author
September 8: Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews


  1. Loved the story...I don't think I could brave our feathered friends for the treasure lol....

    1. I wouldn't either... Thanks Tammy, you know I love it when you stop by for a visit!

  2. What interesting guardians for the treasure...fierce and noble. I wonder if it still lies there with it's timeless sentries. Treasure hungers never do learn to leave buried treasure alone, LOL!

    1. Fierce and noble indeed, makes you wonder how our Cavalier conjured them... And just what is inside that chest anyway! Thanks for the visit Mae!

  3. This was a fun ghost story to read. I especially liked the part about the guardians of the treasure. I do wonder if there is more ghosts at Castle Coch that no one have come across yet, or have and just haven't mentioned it to anyone.

    1. That's an interesting thought! Maybe Castle Coch has many ghosts lurking about... Thanks for stopping by Myst! I LOVE it when you visit!