The castle was built to protect the old road leading to Považie, near the ford, where the old road passed from the right bank to the left. It belonged to the Varín estate and was initially called Varín, it is mentioned in 1267. It was given the name Starý hrad only after the construction of Strečno, which took over its original function. It is first mentioned in 1384. The oldest part of the castle was the refuge tower, which could have been built in the 13th century. The castle then belonged to the ancestors of the Balass family, then to Matúš Čák and in 1323 to the county governor of Donč. He later fell into the royal hands. In the 14th century, when the royal captain and crew lived in the castle, they built some residential and farm buildings. From 1443 it belonged mostly to the Pongrác family, except for short periods when the castle was fought for, such as in the years 1529-1553 in the land war with Mikuláš Kostek of Sedlec. The Pongrács lived here until the 16th century, when they built a comfortable Renaissance manor house in Krasňany and left the uncomfortable castle. Until the beginning of the 18th century, the castle housed its guards. After their departure, the castle gradually began to decay.