Pictured here is Conolly's Folly, a huge obelisk like structure situated near to the towns of Maynooth and Celbridge in Co Kildare.
Designed by renowned architect of his time, Richard Castle, it stands 140 feet high and is an imposing structure in this generally flat landscape. It is clearly visible for miles around. It is made of a number of arches topped by a massive obelisk style pillar. It is decorated with stone pineapples and eagles.
The folly was built in 1740 after a particularly bad winter, and at a time when the famine of 1740- 1741 was at its worst. It was built within the grounds of Castletown Estate and is one of two follies, the other being the rather remarkable and one of a kind Wonderful Barn.
Both of these follies were commissioned by Katherine Conolly, widow of William Conolly; the speaker of the Irish house of commons. Katherine had this huge structure created to provide employment for hundreds of the poor people of Celbridge. Originally intended to be a marker for the rear entrance to Castletown House, it was built exactly perpendicular to the massive mansion which was 2.5 kilometers away. Though considered to be part of the Conolly estate, it was actually built on lands close to the estate but in fact belonging to its neighbor Carton House which was the home of the Dukes of Leinster.
The folly fell into disrepair and restoration work was begun by the Irish Georgian Society in 1965 to restore its glory. This repair work is ongoing today, now overseen by the Office of Public Works.
Castletown House itself was the first Palladian house built in Ireland, with work commencing in 1722. William Conolly decreed that every part of the house must be made from Irish materials. At the time of his death, Conolly was reported to be the wealthiest man in Ireland. The legacy that he left in Carton House is today open to the public and it is possible to view the lavish rooms including the Salon, the Print Room, the State Bedroom and the Long Gallery with its Pompeian decoration and lavish Murano glass chandeliers.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
pajaran (56612) 2014-06-02 8:55
Dobar dan, popodne.
Interesantan tekst o Conolly's Folly, sa istorijom i opisom, lep pogled ...
Dobnar trenutak snimka i kontrast, lepo pokazana kapija i arhitektura.
Dobar rad i kompozicija, lepe boje.
Lepo popodne i sve najbolje u novoj nedelji koja je pocela, srecno.
Good afternoon, this afternoon.
An interesting article about Conolly's Folly, with a history and description, nice view ...
Good time recording and contrast nicely demonstrated the gateway and architecture.
Good work and composition, beautiful colors.
Nice afternoon and all the best in the new week that started, good luck.
photographer_sg (4412) 2014-06-02 11:56
a photograph composed with great precision with the imposing obelisk standing out very nicely against the sky and the colour contrast provided by the lovely green of the surrounding vegetation is equally attractive. The note really helps us appreciate the significance of the beautiful architecture. The photo quality of course is great as always.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening.
carlo62 (41299) 2014-06-02 14:44
140 metri sono molti e, spero, che ne sia valsa la pena per dare lavoro a molte persone.
Non mi sembra che abbia un grande fascino, ma sicuramente fa la sua bella figura, soprattutto vedendolo da lontano grazie alle sue imponenti dimensioni.
jcpix (13846) 2014-06-02 19:10
Very interesting, first time I've ever seen an obelisk erected in such a manner...and I'm still trying to figure out the decorative combination of pineapples and eagles, seems quite random!? But then again, I understand art and decor about as well as nuclear physics. :)
Love the story behind this monument, created to employ people in need...giving the finished product a true sense of purpose and pride. Whomever decided to put up the no parking sign on the front gate though should have been fired. You should have parked your car there just to cover the sign for the picture. :)
A very well balanced composition, and once more, an agreeable sky for a strong backdrop of color and contrast. Rainy Ireland, puh-lease! lol I've always admired your vision on presentation, another fine result indeed. Enjoy the new day. Take it easy.
Cheers from the adult-sized shopping trolley,
jemaflor (91301) 2014-06-02 23:13
A monument well taken, original architecture, good presentation and frame, perfect contrast, tfs.
papagolf21 (93198) 2014-06-02 23:34
Bonjour, cher Noel,
Voilà un monument peu commun et bien mis en valeur. La note d'accompagnement est fort bien rédigée et permet de mieux comprendre le sujet présenté.
Très bonne journée.
jjcordier (79289) 2014-06-02 23:39
Cette structure est vraiment très surprenante. Ta note en raconte bien l'histoire et complète bien cette bonne photo.
Tigerlily (3301) 2014-06-03 2:40
A beautifully taken image, Noel. I love the blue sky as a background, it gave the image a kind of depth, or sort of 3D feeling. Regards,
snunney (92570) 2014-06-03 4:01
Not the only folly built to provide local people with work during times of hardship, but a very interesting one. It suits the symmetrical framing perfectly. Great technical quality. Thanks for sharing.
timecapturer (49288) 2014-06-03 4:27
a decidedly phallic folly this but it does look impressive and wonderfully symmetrical. It does make you wonder what is going through the mind of the architect when deciding on anything like this, as they must have a particular style or dedication in mind. But this was erected out of respect for a noble cause which is dedication enough I suppose. Nevertheless it looks magnificent and so glad it is being restored and cared for as these types of structure are rare nowadays.
Sonata11 (33717) 2014-06-03 7:01
wonderful composition with amazingly beautiful execution. Colors, sharpness, clarity of details are fantastic. I love it. Very interesting architecture. Best regards, Barbara
photoray (13725) 2014-06-03 15:14
Very unique "folly", a pyramid pattern of arches with an obelisk on top. And a very tall obelisk, which I am amazed is still standing. Must have been well designed to create this magical balancing act?
And interesting per your historical note, that it was an employment driven creation.
We had President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s who helped the unemployed by public works, building parks, campgrounds, roads, etc., and especially one of the largest dams at the time - Hoover Dam.
Today public works here often are prevented due to the private concerns who demand they be built by private contractors and companies. Even FDR's public works programs were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and stopped. Then came WWII.....
Thanks for sharing,
delpeoples (56042) 2014-06-03 16:34
Trust you to ferret out the hidden treasures of this country of yours. I know you've done a particularly brilliant job with the "ferreting" here, as I've stayed in Celbridge many times and never noticed this treasure. My nephew and brother in law lived in Celbridge for years but now live in Clane, not far away. Excellent symmetry and light management. It's great to see blue skies in your neck of the woods. You captured the details of this remarkable architecture so cleverly. Reading the history of the folly, I've got to admit it has a certain "let them eat cake" character to it. Ireland is starving, so the filthy rich build a pretty memorial. Times haven't changed much have they? Sorry, I couldn't help myself there.
Thanks for your photo and note, it really is wonderful how you manage to bring us the lesser-known treasures and lesser-trodden paths.
omid266 (6700) 2014-06-03 20:38
Dear my friend,
Another really beautiful and admirable shot from this old and giant monument ,
It is really wonderful for me that Ireland has so many Heritages , and this is on of the most marvellous that i saw in my life,
Very nice hunted with camera, excellent POV,
All the BEST and Thanks !
Best times and fotos
trevormoffiet (3112) 2014-06-04 2:08
A good record you have created here with your image and accompanying note. A pity that Katherine Connolly couldn't extend her philanthropic mind a bit more to create something useful for the people that she employed.
I suppose stone pineapples and eagles fit well together in some sort of artistic way.
danos (92628) 2014-06-04 10:04
nice the view as the presentation of this old monument of Kildare with the interior obelisk to outline parfect against the blue sky.
I like the symmetry as the clarity of the scene.
PiotrF (13424) 2014-06-04 14:32
very good framing and excellent sharpness for this interesting picture full of well visible details.
Excellent sharpness and the overall technical features. Well done
abmdsudi (48812) 2014-06-04 22:23
Strong, uncompromising shot making great use of the light, I particularly like the highlights on the imposing scene and the stonework. The splashes of primary colours in the fg add a lot and the clouds add the drama. Guess what a tale this folly could tell! doubtless it's an interesting landmark and architectural piece perhaps this looks like something from a fairy tale that fires my imagination. Lovely shot; very evocative composition that oozes the atmosphere Noel! Congrats
emka (89411) 2014-06-05 2:54
Hello Noel, No parking and also no visiting, as it seems. But one can see it anyway. Strange comstruction, indeed, folly. Careful presentation of this unusual work of art. Kildare, it reminds me the series that was very popular half century ago. Warm regrads MAlgo
jhm (146666) 2014-06-05 4:42
The arches and the long high construction makes these picture very extraordinarily.
But also a nice panoramic view about these area.
Very well picture, nice composition, excellent captured.
Nice done, TFS.
mesutilgim (90734) 2014-06-05 10:36
Hello dear Noel,
This one from Kildare is also very nice; of course your rich informations completes the entry perfectly.
TFS and best regards
Romano46 (18472) 2014-06-05 11:14
una bella foto, perfetta nella scelta del punto di ripresa, dotata di una bella composizione con eccellente luminosità, bel taglio e definizione impeccabile.
Quello che sorprende - almeno per me, abituato a vedere un tipo di architettura di tipo mediterraneo, è la forma particolarmente elaborata della base dell'obelisco da cui nasce quasi un incrocio tra un arco trionfale, una base di acquedotto ed un monumento celebrativo.
Sorprende anche la perfetta simmetria degli elementi che rendono piacevole la costruzione.
D'altronde a Roma ci sono obelischi messi in posizioni inusuali: basta pensare alla Fontana dei Fiumi a Piazza Navona o al Pulcin della Minerva nei pressi del Pantheon (quest'ultimo posato sulla mole di un elefante).
Complimenti per la bella cattura e le belle note che accompagnano la foto.
Ciao e buona serata
Fis2 (92195) 2014-06-05 12:38
Interesting object (gate) make impression.
Excellent frame and colors.
I like "no parking" :)
fabbs99 (17129) 2014-06-05 23:09
Great shot of the colorful image of the Conolly's Folly.A nice and interesting picture with good sharpness, depth, beautiful light and color. Very well done,TFS.
ikeharel (65241) 2014-06-06 11:42
Thanks for the charming note written, made me smile, Noel.
A prominent monument, not with the usual "style" of monuments - yet a very impressive structure, different archs atop of other archs, and a massive stone pillar like a truncated Obelisk.
I find your note interesting, the place is intriguing and photography-wise, most challanging.
Best regards and have a nice weekend,
Royaldevon (34757) 2014-06-06 12:13
This is a folly of some size and distinction! It reminds me of building bricks that we used to have as children; they were made of wood and it was possible to construct very complicated, tall arches with them. That was, of course, until your brother took it upon himself to demolish it with his cars!!
Your very symmetrical composition works well, emphasising its regularity. It's a pity you couldn't open the gate to welcome us in, along that well placed pathway, but the rusty lock suggests that that was beyond your remit.
Have a great w/e,
ourania (38986) 2014-06-06 13:47
a very strange structure, the reason it was constructed and its story are intriguing too. You are presenting it in an excellent symmetrical composition that exalts the rhythm of the architectural patterns. It stands out also with its dark and moody tones amid the brighter colours of the surroundings and the sky. You managed light and contrast superbly ensuring a dynamic and fascinating sky as well as a clear view even beyond the folly. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,