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Wonderful Barn, Leixlip

(35+ reviews on the web)
Landmark
The Wonderful Barn is a corkscrew-shaped barn built 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
  • 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 »
  • As we had been visiting Castletown House nearby we thought we'd venture over to see this landmark also. We couldn't get it on the sat nav in the car so we followed Google maps, but still couldn't loca...  more »
  • The Wonderful Barn was a project to provide work during a famine in the 18th century. Sponsored by the Connolys of Castletown House and the Fitzgeralds of Carton House. It was built for the storage of...  more »
Google
  • Unfortunately it's closed and there are no regular tours. Nice park surrounding it and a unique structure to view
  • Really interesting piece of architecture, some reasonable walks also in the area
  • Needs some TLC and some love.
  • Really like this building, pity it's not put to better use, surrounding area is not much of a park, still very much the farm land it used to be. Still nice place.