Gormanston Castle - County Meath - Southern Ireland
Gormanston Castle was owned by the Preston family - the Viscount Gormanston from 1363 AD until the time that he was sold to the Franciscan Friars in the late 1940's.
There is a legend at the castle that whenever a Viscount Gormanston is about to die, scores of foxes surround the Castle and stay in the vicinity until after the Viscount's demise.
Preston family records going back to the 17th century record that in 1860 when the 12th Viscount was dying, foxes were seen around the house for several days especially sitting beneath the Viscount's bedroom window from where they barked and howled all night. After the Viscount's death, the foxes were still in evidence in front of the house and they only returned to their natural habitat after the funeral.
What is strange is that the foxes were said to have walked through the poultry without touching them and they were never attacked by dogs as if they were somehow not of this world!
The foxes strange behaviour is said to have begun during the 17th century when the then Viscount Gormanston had saved the life of a vixen and her young whilst in the process of hunt. The first appearance of the foxes had been when that particular Viscount was on his deathbed.