University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Gimghoul Castle - Dromgoole's Castle

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Ghimghoul Castle near the University of North Carolina campus is a ruin with many legends attached. One says that 18-year-old Peter Dromgoole was buried here in 1833 after he lost a duel for the hand of his beloved Miss Fanny. Another tale says that Fanny loved Peter and didn’t know he had been murdered. She waited for him and finally passed away of grief. In still other incarnations, Peter died in Fanny’s arms as he took the shot from his dueling opponent. Reports say that in reality Peter Dromgoole was a young man who applied to UNC in 1833 but left for Europe when he didn’t get in. His uncle, George C. Dromgoole, actually did fight a duel in 1837, but wasn’t shot.

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Geographic Information

Address:
Gimghoul Road
Chapel Hill, NC
United States

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GPS:
35.911975981609864, -79.03602732720174
County:
Orange County, North Carolina
Nearest Towns:
Chapel Hill, NC (1.1 mi.)
Carrboro, NC (2.2 mi.)
Fearrington, NC (7.6 mi.)
Fearrington Village, NC (8.1 mi.)
Durham, NC (9.5 mi.)
Green Level, NC (11.6 mi.)
Hillsborough, NC (11.8 mi.)
Morrisville, NC (13.3 mi.)
Efland, NC (13.9 mi.)
Gorman, NC (14.7 mi.)

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  1. This Castle is not in Ruins as the site mentions. It is owned, used, and maintained by UNC’s ‘Ghimgool Society’, a secret Fraternity composed of Brothers from the school’s other fraternities.
    While the Castle is typically closed to the public, Half of the castle is lived in full-time by a caretaker (and family) while the other half is composed mainly of a Large Banquet Hall (where I once ran sound for a band performing for the Ghimgool Society’s St. Patrick’s Day party) and a few other ‘meeting rooms’. There is a circular staircase in the center of the Castle which ascends a ‘watchtower spire’ and opens on the top to a lookout spot.
    In the ‘Back Yard’ there is a very small stone Amphitheater, just large enough for a Sunday Prayer Service or other such gathering.
    Down a footpath adjacent to the ‘front yard’ you will find a stone ‘throne’ of sorts that may or may not be man-made. This ‘throne’ is the central point of most of the “Legends of the Lovers” that are mentioned on this site, most of which claim this is the spot where either the dying duelist took his last breath, or where the forelorn girl sat waiting for the return of her lover.
    All in all it is a beautiful building, in a private, quiet and serene location, just be careful treading too closely… the Ghimgool Society still uses this castle regularly and there is almost certainly always someone home watching for sneaky explorers.

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