Abandoned hunting estates from the colonial era are littered throughout Ireland. This one, Sheskin Lodge, has its origins in the second half of the 19th century and was once the property of whiskey magnate John Jameson. After Jameson’s death, Sheskin faced years of financial uncertainty. That must have been why, in 1938, my godfather, Oxford academic C.G.T. Morison, advertised in the local papers his intention to dispose of the Lodge’s furniture. The next year, when apparently things had looked up, T.H. White, author of ‘The Once and Future King’, stayed at Sheskin Lodge for most of September 1939. Unfortunately for him, he caught the flu, his falcons misbehaved and blood-thirsty midges thwarted all attempts to fish.

Wind farm

In 2015 I first encountered Sheskin after inheriting a book of my godfather’s that included the Lodge’s address. Since then, I’ve  regularly photographed the estate’s relentless decline, which recently accelerated with the construction of a nearby wind farm. This required heavy machinery thundering along a track adjacent to Sheskin’s boundary. It also meant slicing back the outer edge of the Lodge’s foliage so as widen access. One of the first casualties was a jaunty monkey puzzle tree, which for many years had acted as a natural signpost to the estate’s entrance.


For my next photobook, ‘An Island in Time’, I’m documenting  Sheskin’s buildings in all their stubborn disintegration and where – in a particular light – you can almost sense the ghosts of time past. The garden has a different presence and one that I find quite unnerving. Here, walls sag beneath the merciless onslaught of woodland and greenery that annihilates everything in its path. So one day soon all that will be left will be rogue trees, thick undergrowth and a scattering of bricks and stones: the final remnants of a lost world.