Gormanston Castle was, since the 14th century, the seat of the Preston family, who managed to hold onto their estate lands through the centuries, despite being staunch catholics. The head of the family is known as Viscount Gormanston, premier Viscount of Ireland. The current holder of the title is Jenico Preston, 17th Viscount Gormanston who resides in London. The family sold the castle in the 1950s, when it was acquired by the Franciscan Order of Friars who then established a boarding school for boys in the grounds, known as Gormanston College. Tradition ordains that when the head of the family is in his final hours, the foxes of County Meath, except for nursing vixens, emerge from their earths and make their way to the door of Gormanston Castle to keep vigil until his Lordship has passed from this life. This tribute is in thanksgiving for the deliverance and protection from maurauding predators of a vixen and her young by a previous Lord Gormanston. This strange phenomenon has been witnessed many times over the last century.