Wonderful Barn, Leixlip

3.7
#38 of 66 in Things to do in County Kildare
The Wonderful Barn is a corkscrew-shaped building on the edge of Castletown House Estate of the Conolly family, which borders Leixlip and Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. It was built in 1743 on the Leixlip side of the Castletown Estate. Flanked by two smaller dovecote towers, it was built with the stairs ascending around the exterior of the building.Several purposes are suggested for the unique structure. One theory is based on the custom in Georgian times of using doves as a delicacy when other game or animals were not in season, and suggest its use as a dovecote. The height of the structure would also lend itself to sport shooting, supporting another theory of its use as a shooting or gamekeepers tower.The tower is seen from the east windows of Castletown House, so it filled that vista, possibly as a folly.However, a central hole through each of the floors supports the generally accepted theory of its use as a granary. The barn was built in the years immediately following the famine of 1740-41, as there was a need for new grain stores in case of another famine. The Conollys owned Kilmacredock and rented it out, so the barn was also useful for their tenants.The construction project also likely served as a way to keep the local poor employed. In this, it is not unlike the Conolly Folly (an Obelisk), which was built on the estate in 1740-41.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
40 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • June 22, 2017
    The wonderful barn was on our list of places to try and find and to take a picture. It is not that far from Castletown House, which we visited first. We knew better than to depend solely on Garmin, an...  more »
  • June 20, 2017
    Very interesting visit especially for foreign visitors, the Wonderful Barn is visible from Becketts hotel and was a Famine relief project, intended to provide work for people during the time of the Gr...  more »
  • March 19, 2017
    Most important information I gleaned from this visit is technically it was part of the Castletown House Estate but has since been cut off due to the motorway. It's tricky to find and had to ask direct...  more »
Google
  • June 8, 2017
    Beautiful historical building . Unusual shape full of character .Set in a nice park with short walks and benches to sit on and relax
  • April 28, 2017
    Amazing looking building. Of very interesting historical significance. Nice for a walk in the grounds.
  • March 16, 2017
    Cool place to visit if you are around. But no destination by any means. No parking.
  • February 2, 2017
    Great place where you can get some fresh air and enjoy a lovely walk!
  • December 29, 2016
    Famous locally. Unfortunately now closed to the public, however the grounds are now open to walk around.

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