Seaforde Almshouses

Seaforde village is clustered round the Parish Church of 1720 and the demesne walls of Seaforde House.  The Almshouses were built in 1828 by Colonel Forde (as a red sandstone plaque in the gable of the central house records), and were intended to house six elderly people and the village courthouse.

They are built in a Regency Tudor style, of rendered rubble stone, with sturdy granite plinths, window labels, cills, and chimneys.

By 1970 much of the village was in a state of ‘picturesque decay’ with the courthouse (now houses 4 and 5) vacant, and the Almshouses mostly uninhabited.  The Forde family agreed to sell the property to Hearth, which proposed to restore the houses for resale, and in 1977 the courthouse became two houses.  However they were not sold on, but used to accommodate two of the remaining Almshouse residents, and the rest of the terrace was restored as rental housing.  The original almshouses were tiny, each consisting of two small rooms and an outside toilet.  Each pair of houses was combined to form one present house, one door in each porch being converted to a window, and new kitchen and bathroom extensions were added to the rear.  Pyramidal sheeted ceilings in the former courthouse were retained in the living rooms of houses nos. 4 and 5, and the granite fire surrounds of the original Almshouses were also kept.

Project By
Hearth Housing Association
Year restored
Edward Bell, Lisburn
Hugh J O’Boyle, Downpatrick
McCarthy Lilburn & Partners