Dunsandle House

Dunsandle House
Dunsandle, Galway, Ireland.

Located between Athenry and Loughrea, Dunsandle House was a once magnificent property, built c1780 for the powerful Daly family. In its time, the property was admired for its fine and intricate architectural features, but today only a small part of the house remains and that is an inaccessible ruin.

A curious story relating to the old house concerns an ornate, stone mantlepiece. A local stonemason took a liking to the mantlepiece, so he decided to take it with him. He brought it to his workshop so that he could take the parts he wanted from it, but not long after, strange things began to happen around his workshop. Objects were thrown by unseen hands, there would be strange sounds when the workshop was locked up for the night, and the ethereal sound of a string instrument – perhaps a fiddle or violin – was clearly heard. The figure of a tall man was also seen in the workshop on a number of occasions.

There are conflicting accounts as to what happened next. Some say that the stonemason realised the mantlepiece was haunted and that he reinstated it at the old house, ending his brief ordeal with the displaced and displeased ghost. Another account says that he tried to get rid of it, offering it to anyone who would take it off his hands, but nobody wanted it. This version seems open ended – maybe he did return it, or maybe he dumped it somewhere. Maybe the mantlepiece was retrieved by someone else and is gracing their living room right now?

The house was stripped of its remaining salvageable features in the 1950s, before the roof was removed to defray tax costs. What remains of the property has since been claimed by nature.

Some sources link the story of the mantlepiece to Dunsandle Castle, but I think Dunsandle House is a more likely location. I have included the other one too so that you can make up your own mind!

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