Photographer's Note

Pictured here is the Batty Langley Gate Lodge on the grounds of Catletown House, County Kildare.

Castletown itself is Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. Built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. The impressive house is the largest house in Ireland, and one of great historical and architectural importance, not only in Ireland, but also in Europe.

The area around Castletown is dotted with unique structures that are a haven for photographers. These include the Wonderful Barn, the Connolly Folly and two gatehouses. One is the Round House at the Leixlip entrance to the vast estate, and the other is the one we see here, the Batty Langely Gate Lodge on the Dublin road entrance.

The lodge we see today was influenced by the published designs of English architect and gardener Batty Langley (1696-1751), and was completed in 1785. Its gothic facade represents the contemporary desire for gothic styled buildings in garden design. One unique factor of the lodge is that its stylish gothic facade faces Castletown house itself, and not the road, which would have been the accepted way of building.

This allowed it to serve its main function as a gate house, but it is also believed that Louisa Connolly liked to use the lodge as a cottage ornée. Other estates had similar features, as her sister Emilys great manion, Carton house, features the Shell Cottage which was used in the same manner.
The primary use however, was as a home for one of the groundsmen or gardeners of the estate, and it served this purpose until well into the 20th century.

The lodge itself and some of the surrounding grounds were detached from the grounds of Castltown in the 1960's but have recently been purchased by the Office of Public Works and reintegrated into the demesne as part of the ongoing extensive rennovation works of this historical site.

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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