This is The Wonderful Barn in Leixlip, Co Kildare, a corkscrew shaped building erected in 1743 as a famine relief scheme by Catherine Connolly of the nearby vast Castletown Estate. Not only was it a functional grain store, but it also provided an interesting east facing view from the grounds of Castletown House itself.
The dramatic construction rises to 70 feet in height, and is encircled by a cantilevered staircase with a viewing gallery. It is adjoined by a courtyard in which two dovecotes can be found, as well as Barnhall House, now in ruins.
Despite its general acceptance as a grainstore, built in case of another famine, some feel that its height and the positioning could also have allowed it to be a shooting tower, or gameskeepers tower. Birds such as doves were in Georgian times a delicacy when other game was not in season.
To the right of this structure (not pictured) is the ruins of Barnhall House, which in its day was at the centre of large formal gardens, with the Wonderful barn and the two small dovecotes around it.
In recent years, the grounds here have become a center for community gardens, and there is now a number of allotments around the area for local residents to get involved in growing their own food.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
rigoletto (34229) 2013-06-22 5:44
i fell down my chair.
this is almost the twin sister of the minaret of samarra in iraq - a UNESCO heritage (see WS)
great architecture, which i would never expect to see in ireland, as this conical style is characteristic of middle east. dramatic light and clouds in good company with the barn.
HimalAnda (8688) 2013-06-22 5:45
What a strange tower! It looks like the Babel tower...
The composition is good, the blue tones also.
delpeoples (52737) 2013-06-22 6:19
Gidday dear Noel
WTF! Sorry, I hope that doesn't offend you, but that was the first thing when I saw this photo. It looks like something out of the Allhambra or the Middle East. Truly, what a surprise that this unusual (and very attractive edifice) is in good old Ireland. The zig-zag, diagonals of the tower seems to be mirrored by the cloud formations in the sky. The colours are beautiful and I like the unusual light. A fascinating photo, nice work.
Thanks for sharing, hope the jam carnival went well
rogerl (1544) 2013-06-22 6:19
Noel, what an unusual grain silo! It looks as though it could still be in working order. Nice capture with good grays and browns against the blue sky. Thanks.
yquem46 (38382) 2013-06-22 6:22
Of course makes me immediately think to Babylone or the mythic Babel tower
Well shot from low POV making it standing out nicely on the blue cloudy sky
have a nice WE, best regards
Romano46 (16582) 2013-06-22 6:29
ottima foto per il soggetto estremamente originale sia per la forma che per l'uso che, come dici nelle note, ne veniva fatto.
Molto bello il punto di ripresa e l'evidenza che haio saputo dargli anche se personalmente avrei scelto un formato quadrato tagliando la parte destra.
Eccellente la nitidezza e il colore e molto dettagliate anche le pregevoli note che accomnpagnano la foto.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
Indrasish (2833) 2013-06-22 6:30
Wonderful shot here.. Beautiful view.. Nice sky also.. Good composition.. Superb sharpness and color too.. Very well done..
krzychu30 (15344) 2013-06-22 6:47
wow,this looks really amazing!For me more like a scene from a cartoon.Definitely something we do not get to see often.
I like also your presentation of it-you captured it so nicely against the blue sky,which makes magnificent background for this beautiuful Barn.
I think You and your beautiful Ireland never stops amaze me!
Magnificent shot my friend!
Have a nice weekend
serp2000 (38355) 2013-06-22 6:59
Great! This tower looks like a construction from a fairy tale movie. Very interesting unusual architecture. This is not so height construction but it's an impressive heritage of the XVIII century.
Have a great weekend!
Greetings from hot Ural (+35 C today!)
williewhistler (12763) 2013-06-22 8:58
Hello Noel,this is such an interesting structure and you have done very well to show it in all of its glory. The architectural features are well portrayed against a very interesting sky.
A lovely shot.
All the best
Didi (55145) 2013-06-22 9:00
Very original architecture
looks like a Babylonian zigourat :)
jemaflor (81486) 2013-06-22 9:06
Interesting and original architecture for the tower, tfs. Well presented, The composition is well balanced, nice Bg with this blue sky.
dta (63564) 2013-06-22 11:00
hello Noel ,
A great view of this famous and oustanding barn . Especially for the perspective and the approaching clouds .
bona (12315) 2013-06-22 12:41
incredable this barn, I like this corkscrew shape, never saw something like this before. Thankf for share.
your not is so good as the photo. I be curious about the Barnhall ruins.
Antipodean (1609) 2013-06-22 13:36
Kia ora Noel,
I agree with rigoletto, it does look like the spiral minaret in Samarra, Iraq, an edifice I have been to the top of many years ago, the resemblance is amazing! Great photo & interesting note. Cheers, Neil
lousat (72937) 2013-06-22 15:19
Hi Noel,this architechture remember me the Babel tower,very interesting,original and beautiful and taken from the best point of view to create this imposing perspective,excellent exposure,colors and soft details.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
carlo62 (28525) 2013-06-22 15:22
quello di oggi è un soggetto del tutto originale, considerato anche il periodo di costruzione, forse lo è ancor di più.
Ne non conoscevo l'esistenza e sono proprio felice di averlo scoperto grazie alla tua foto.
kim_gwan (416) 2013-06-22 23:41
What a Barn, Noel!
Excellently capture with some blue sky.
Weird but spiral and rare architecture.
Did you go up and have an aerial view?
Seems like i am back to Babylon era.
jjcordier (73824) 2013-06-22 23:42
Une très étonnante tour avec ce spectaculaire escalier extérieur. Bonne photo illustrant bien ton intéressante note.
macjake (53090) 2013-06-23 0:49
Excellent post. I think we've seen this before in yr gallery....no?
For some reason it looks so familiar.
Its of fine construction, very odd but i suppose of great functionality.
70 feet isnt too tall, but our friend John (tyro) doesnt enjoy heights...lets get him up there lol
Very cool post, with another interezting note to complete it smartly.
Enjoy a quiet sunday
Schnappilic (9686) 2013-06-23 2:16
I have never seen this type of construction.I find it to be very original. Good presentation in a beautiful light. TFS!
fabbs99 (16129) 2013-06-23 3:05
Great necessity in older times as barn ,but a time classic building in modern building.You captured the barn very well against a blue sky and splashed over white clouds.Lovely sight.Keep sharing.TFS.
Have a great Sunday,
snunney (79973) 2013-06-23 4:06
A strange looking building that looks like an old fashioned helter-skelter, and an interesting story to go with it. I like the framing whilst the lovely sky makes a splendid and contrasting backcloth. Excellent rendering of the detail. Have a good Sunday.
timecapturer (45737) 2013-06-23 4:52
WoW! a fascinating building and captured superbly. Your POV accentuates its height and amazing shape. It looks like it should be on the set of the Hobbit! A stunning place and wonderful presentation.
Enjoy your Sunday.
bbarna (706) 2013-06-23 8:12
This is another of those buildings which amazes me about the ingenuity of those people who designed these without computers and modern technology. It looks great and served several useful functions. Great composition. TFS.
All the best,
siudzi (32709) 2013-06-23 12:32
Well seen and executed composition of this really interesting building. Like the way you captured it with a good timing and excellent quality of the image. Elegant presentation. TFS.
tyro (18958) 2013-06-23 14:44
This is an amazing photograph of an amazing structure which first of all reminded me of a fairground helter-skelter but which also has a very close resemblance to the Minaret of Samarra as shown by Deniz in his workshop.
Your full and comprehensive note is fascinating and this place must draw attention from miles around - it must be unique in Ireland.
Lovely light and colours and excellent composition, this amazing building standing out beautifully against a wonderful sky. Perfect exposure and exquisite details and sharpness.
ourania (27344) 2013-06-23 23:41
this is indeed a wonderful and very intriguing structure, a landmark for centuries now in this area. Its story and the changes in the use of the land and buildings around it are fascinating. I like very much the close and upward point of view and the great sharpness that allow us to study it in a very delightful way as it is placed against a superb contrasting backdrop. I also like the dynamic diagonal in the sky and the soft warm light on the cool hues of the structures. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely week,
sevy (15357) 2013-06-24 6:30
For someone like me liking to take lighthouse shots, I can only enjoy such strange and original architectur.
This one, I imagine it in B&W under a deep bad and grey cloudy sky.
Fis2 (82540) 2013-06-24 12:55
A very interesting building.
Good frame and colors.
Royaldevon (26883) 2013-06-25 13:56
This is a most curious building! It resembles a helter skelter without all the colourful stripes. Do you think it was covered all over with that brick-like façade, which have fallen off with time?
You have composed the shot really well, the store strongly placed, showing up well against the blue sky and with pin sharp details.
My warm regards,
abmdsudi (40332) 2013-06-26 10:27
This reminds me of a coned sand castle with spiral stairscase containing layers of different textures, but this is much larger. What a historic structures and thks to your narratives, its a great capture which suits the mood pretty well. Striking arty image with that great sky, you definitely have an eye for the unusual. Congrats
mjw364 (7004) 2013-06-26 11:52
A very unusual building and an old one. It could though be a modern building given some of the funky new designs we see around these days with its curves and unusual shape. Great sky too - nice deep blue.
photoray (10557) 2013-06-26 18:16
Unlike any barn I have seen, and certainly a magical tower impressing the surrounding countryside.
The views from along the staircase and top must be magnificient?
Low sun and dramatic clouds adds to the mystique,
Sonata11 (33179) 2013-06-26 20:59
Wow!!!! this is interesting!!! I wonder how is inside? An amazing architecture. You done perfectly well. Love it. Awesome job. Barbara
Glint (6163) 2013-07-02 12:19
wow! such an interesting building. It looks like it stepped out of a fairy story books or The Arabian Knights or some such fantastical tale. Very well photographed with a lovely blue to the sky and a nice light.
jcpix (11756) 2013-07-03 21:32
These have been some great shots of this grainstore, each one has provided its own character and charm. With this closer, tighter framing and isolating the tower itself I can see some really neat possibilities of some abstract type of shots within the detail...that spiraling staircase has all sorts of opportunities. Anyway, that's beside the point, I'm getting easily distracted....so, as I was....hey, look....something shiny! :)
Looking at this, I have a desire to peel it back from the bottom step, like unwrapping a candy of some kind...or doing it fast enough that it will actually spin. The round, square, and triangular windows make this appear like a giant child's learning toy...you know the kind, put the correctly shaped block into the corresponding hole.
I really can't concentrate tonight, so let me finish by saying "cooool!" Seriously though, this is a great, detailed look with some nice gentle light and a backdrop of blue sky for color contrast. Love the texture as well. Have a nice Thursday.
Cheers from the Valley of the Sun,
Miguel82 (21048) 2013-07-05 11:02
This is an insolite monument you present here
Good photo comment, framing and pov
A brillant shot
adores (34738) 2013-07-06 16:26
Hard to believe this is in Ireland. Guess it's the first time I'm seeing it. Looks so much like some architecture in the Middle East. Original, very interesting and very well captured. Seems well preserved, too.
- Copyright: Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) (21568)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-06-06
- Categories: Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Canon EOS 60D
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/200 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-06-22 5:34
- Favorites: 1 [view]