Photographer's Note

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!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4173 W: 26 N: 9238] (33764)
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