Roche Castle was the seat of the deVerdun family who came to Ireland from France with Prince, later King, John in 1185. The head of the Barony was originally at Castletown, Dundalk, but during the thirteenth century it was moved inland to Roche. The reason for this move from Castletown, which was convenient to the sea, to the more remote Castleroche is not clear, although the elevated site afforded an excellent view of the surrounding countryside and would have been easily defended. Protection of the expanding settlements in the area may also have been a consideration.
Building at Roche probably began soon after 1229, when Nicholas deVerdun was planning to fortify his lands. Nicholas died in 1231, but his daughter Roesia completed the work in 1236. Roesia died in 1247 and is buried in Belton parish church, Leicestershire, England, where her effigy may be seen. The name "Roche" is thought to be derived from Roesia's Castle.
The castle at Roche was costly to maintain and to garrison. It was abandoned when tower houses were built at Castletown in 1470.
Faughart has a heritage of many sites of historic interest that need to be restored and preserved for the generations of the future. Castles, ringforts, souterrains and old graveyards contain many links to this heritage. The Society has made some of these suitable for visiting by students, historians, researchers in genealogy and the general public.