Thursday, 11 November 2021

Lisheen House


The earliest record of this family is found in a list of names of subscribers to a loan raised in 1589, during the reign of ELIZABETH I, to defray expenses incurred during the arming of the country at the time of the threatened Spanish Armada.

The name there appears as PHILLIPS, as it also does in the official list of High Sheriffs for County Sligo, as late as 1716, where Matthew Phibbs, of Templevaney, is styled Matthew Phillips.

Of this family two brothers came over to Ireland as soldiers about 1590.

From records now existing in Trinity College, Dublin, they are found on half-pay, in 1616 and 1619, under the name of PHIPPS, a name that some of the younger branches of the family resumed about 1765.

Of these two, William settled in County Cork, in the south-west of which county the name existed as ffibbs.

The elder of the two,

RICHARD PHIPPS, who served under Sir Tobias Caulfeild, and was pensioned as a maimed soldier in 1619, settled at Kilmainham, Dublin, where he died in 1629, and was buried at St James's Church.

He had issue,
RICHARD, of whom presently;
John, living in County Sligo, 1663;
Hester; Jane; Sarah; Rebecca.
The eldest son,

RICHARD PHIBBS or FFIBS, of Coote's Horse, who was granted land in County Sligo, 1659, and served in Captain Francis King's troop of horse in Lord Collooney's regiment.

He died in 1670, and was interred in St John's Church, Dublin, having had issue,
MATTHEW, of Templevaney;
William, of Grange.
The elder son,

MATTHEW PHIBBS (1660-1738), of Templevaney, and afterwards of Rockbrook, County Sligo, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1716, had issue, four sons and two daughters,
WILLIAM, of Rathbrook and Rathmullen;
Anne; Margaret.
Mr Phibbs died in 1738, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM PHIBBS (1696-1775), of Rockbrook and Rathmullen, married, in 1717, Mary, only daughter of John Harlow, of Rathmullen, by whom he had twenty-one children, including
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Mary; Anne; Joanna; Rebecca; Eleanor.
The second surviving son,

WILLIAM PHIBBS (1738-1801), of Hollybrook, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1781, wedded, in 1768, Jane, daughter of Owen Lloyd, of Rockville, County Roscommon, by whom he had ten children, of whom
William, 1771-2;
William, 1773-97;
OWEN, of whom presently;
Susan; Mary.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his only surviving son,

OWEN PHIBBS (1776-1829), of Merrion Square, Dublin, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1804, who espoused, in 1798, Anne, daughter of Thomas Ormsby, of Ballimamore, County Mayo, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of Seafield;
Elizabeth; Jane; Maria.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM PHIBBS (1803-81), of Seafield, County Sligo, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1833, 11th Light Dragoons, who married, in 1840, Catherine, daughter of George Meares Maunsell, of Ballywilliam, County Limerick, and had issue,
OWEN, his heir;
Catherine; Anne; Edythe Frances.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

OWEN PHIBBS JP DL (1842-1914), of Lisheen (name changed in 1904), High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1884, Lieutenant, 6th Dragoon Guards, who wedded, in 1866, Susan, daughter of William Talbot-Crosbie, of Ardfert Abbey, County Kerry, and had issue,
BASIL, his heir;
William Talbot;
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

BASIL PHIBBS, (1867-1938), of Corradoo, Boyle, and Lisheen, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1905, who married, in 1899, Rebekah Wilbraham, youngest daughter of Herbert Wilbraham Taylor, of Hadley Bourne, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
Denis William;
Richard Owen Neil;
Catherine Meave.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEOFFREY BASIL PHIBBS (1900-56), of Lisheen,
Born in Norfolk; Irish Guards; worked variously as demonstrator in College of Science; librarian; factory-worker in London and school-teacher in Cairo;worked with Nancy Nicholson at the Poulk (Hogarth) Press.
Mr Phibbs married Norah McGuinness in London.

He subsequently changed his name to TAYLOR, following his father’s refusal to "allow his wife over the threshold".

He lived in a Georgian house in Tallaght, County Dublin.

Denis William Phibbs inherited the house and some of the lands, which he sold to Isaac Beckett of Ballina for £1,400 ~ less than one third of the original construction price.

Beckett later sold the house to a builder, John Sisk.

In 1944, the Becketts sold the lands they owned to George Lindsay.

Other lands on the Phibbs estate were bought by the Lindsay and McDermott families.

LISHEEN HOUSE (formerly Seafield), near Ballysadare, County Sligo, although now in a ruinous state, casts an impressive presence on the landscape.

Many clues as to its original state survive, including some fine stonework to the facades, chimneys, and openings.

This was clearly a house rich in history and skilfully designed.

The Sligo architect John Benson, who designed the house, was knighted for designing the building at the Dublin Exhibition of 1853.

Lisheen is a two-storey rendered house, built ca 1842, now ruinous.

Symmetrical main elevations, extensive vegetation growth internally and externally; roof collapsed; remains of chimney-stacks survive; section of moulded eaves cornice survives.

Painted smooth-rendered walling, horizontal banding between floors, plain pilasters to corners, moulded dado, ashlar limestone plinth.

Square-headed full-height window openings, moulded architraves, entablatures supported on console brackets, all evidence of timber windows missing.

No evidence of entrance doors survive; all internal finishes and features removed; remote location in fields.

First published in November, 2012.


JPM2017 said...

Is one able to visit Lisheen House? How best to approach? Maps show it well off of the road, appearing to be on private property.

Fred said...

For what it is worth, I visited the old Lisheen House in 2002, then standing in a cow paddock on land owned by a dairy farmer. He was quite happy for us to explore and take photos.