Dunboden House

Dunboden House
Westmeath, Ireland.


Dunboden House is either closed or it may be a private property. Please refer to Visitor Notes for further information.

Lieutenant Commander Robert Rochfort (known as “Bobby Bawn”) was the son of the 1st Earl of Belvedere, Robert Rochfort, and Mary Molesworth. In September 1797, Bobby Bawn accused a local man, Peter Dalton, of committing a burglary – a charge that Dalton denied. Nevertheless, Dalton was tried and sentenced to be hanged at the old jail in Mullingar. As Dalton took his place on the day of execution, it is reported that he turned to Bobby Bawn and said “Today it is me. Tomorrow it will be you.”.

Now, this is an OLD story and there are several variations but this one seems the most plausible to me.. for the most part.

On the 17th of October 1797, Bobby Bawn was at his private residence, Dunboden House, when his butler answered the door to an unidentified stranger. The stranger wanted to speak to Bawn and the butler, thinking nothing of it, went to alert his master. A few moments later, the butler heard a horrifying scream and rushed out to discover Bobby Bawn collapsed on the steps with his throat slit. Bawn died there in a pool of blood, and it was often said that the blood stain was impossible to remove. Some versions of the story indicate that his murderer may have in fact been the vengeful spirit of the innocent man that he had condemned.

Not long after his death, stories began to circulate that Bobby’s ghost was being seen in the surrounding area, and that he was angry. For thirty years he terrified locals, until one night a priest by the name of Father Timothy Shanley, encountered what he described as “the devil himself” on the road and sent him on his way with the assistance of a parishioner.

Now the exorcism sounds a little far fetched to me, but essentially Father Shanley made a circle of holy water and he his assistant stood inside it while the angry spirit swirled around them. Shanley recited his prayers and this agitated the ghost further, with fire and brimstone spewing forth etc. But the priest persisted and Bawn’s ghost took off into the air in a burst of flame and landed in Lough Ennell at an area known as Rinn Point.

Thankfully, Bawn’s angry ghost has not been seen since, although some say that the water at Rinn Point is haunted. Dunboden House was one of many great houses that were burnt in War of Independence.

Visitor Notes

The ruin is on private property. Access is not permitted.

Ghost Advisor

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Further Information

Venue Name
Great House  | Outdoor / Street Hauntings
Kilbride, Westmeath, Ireland
Admission Policies
Closed - No Entry


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