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The Wonderful Barn Weird Thing
 

County

Kildare

Coordinates

N 53° 21' 35.4"   W 006° 30' 37.0"

Nearest town

Leixlip

Grid Ref.

N 99233 35411

Map No.

50

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

60

Date of visit

Monday 24 May 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The Wonderful Barn from the south.


The Wonderful Barn is a strange building, conical shaped and five storeys high, built on the edge of the Castletown House estate of the Conolly family, which borders Leixlip and Celbridge.
It was built in the 1743, right after the Famine of 1740-1741, and it assumed that its main purpose was to store grain in the case of a new famine. A series of holes pierced through each of the floors strengthens this theory. It seems that it was also designed to be a folly in the landscape of the Castletown Estate. The construction of this weird building had also the purpose to keep the local poor at work during the hard times after the famine. One of the main features of this building is the staircase on the exterior of it, which gives the barn the look of a corkscrew.
The staircase winds up to the top of the barn where ends in a small turret.
At close distance from the conical barn there are two similar, though smaller, conical buildings, but they were used as dovecots, places where doves and pigeons were kept. Those birds were a handy source of meat.
There's also a 17th century house attached to the barn, but it's in bad conditions.
About 4 kilometres from here there's another folly, The Obelisk.


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