Abandoned ireland


Seafield House,


Documenting our Heritage

Seafield House was built by William Phibbs in 1798, the original house was Gothic but the stables and cowsheds were joined to it in the Palladian manner. Owen Phibbs who inherited the estate from his father lived mainly in Dublin and used Seafield only as a summer holiday house. However in 1842 Owens son, William came to live permanently at Seafield and began building a much larger house a short distance from the old house which was let fall into ruin. The architect of the new house was John Benson who afterwards was knighted for his design of the building for the Dublin Exhibition of 1853. The house was Classical square, two storeys, entrance front of 7 bays with the door recessed behind a tomb doorway with two Ionic columns.

Owen Phibbs being an eminent archaeologist of the time began to fill the house with ancient treasures  from the Far East, Syria, and Egypt. The objects were housed in a long gallery on the first floor which became known as ‘The Museum’.

Trouble started soon afterwards when the house became infested with a particularly unpleasant and malicious poltergeist. A strange figure was often seen on the stairway at night accompanied soon afterwards by terrible loud crashes heard throughout the house. Broken pottery and ornaments would be found the next morning. On one occasion the whole house shook violently - all in the house fled in terror. After this event servants refused to stay inside the house. Shortly after a gardener was terrified by a tall dark shadowy figure seen disappearing into the sea laughing maniacally. The gardener was also said to have fled in terror never to return.

The house had such a bad reputation that it’s name was changed from Seafield House to Lisheen House to try to conceal it’s past history.

Eventually in the 1900s the house was handed over to a group of Jesuit priests who performed mass daily for some weeks in an attempt to exorcise the poltergeist.

The priests attempt failed, they also fled the property never to return.

Unable to rid the house of it’s infestation D.W.Phibbs sold the house in 1940.

Shortly after the house was dismantled and left as a roofless ruin.

As it