Burt Castle was built between 1560-1580 by the O’Doherty clan in County Donegal, Ireland. During the 16th century an O’Doherty nobleman seduced a young local woman in this castle. These lovers met as lovers do & soon after she fell pregnant. When she informed her lover he took no responsibility & wanted nothing to do with it! She wanted marriage and all it meant for her unborn child, yet he turned his back on them & sadly she became increasingly distraught.
One night as the moon shone full & bright, she walked along the shore of Lough Swilly next to this castle, eventually wading in… drowning herself & her unborn child the icy cold waters 😞
Her father made a vow to avenge his daughter’s death & on one dark, lonely night when the clouds rolled in overhead, he snuck his way into the castle & climbed to the first elevated floor to the room where his daughter’s lover slept.
There, the father withdrew his knife & stabbed the nobleman repeatedly to ensure that he was beyond resuscitation. He then dragged his body to the narrow window & pushing it through. He tried to aim it for the craggy rocks at the base of the castle, but it fell instead on a patch of grass close to the castles stone base.
From that time forward, each time the moon is full the ghost of a young girl is seen walking the shoreline of the Lough Swilly next to this castle. Her distraught wails caught on the winds which carries for miles, only fading when the figure wades back into the water & disappears under the black waves.
And on those nights, swans fly to Burt Castle where they also begin wailing at the base of the old southwest tower on the very spot where the nobleman was plunged to his death, to this very day there is a barren patch there that even grass will not grow on…..
Finally, I can share this photo with you all! Over the years I have attempted this shot but failed due to terrible cloudy weather or by my wrong calculations trying to calculate where exactly to stand to align the full moon with this old castle. A moonset is much easier to capture here as you can follow the setting moon making corrections on where to point your lens, however a moonrise only allows a 2-minute window for error. A few weeks ago I made 3 attempts on 3 consecutive nights & again failed on the first 2 nights. On the 3rd night my recalculations paid off as I finally got this full moonrise exactly above Burt Castle.