Conolly’s Folly

maynootharchaeology

This is Conolly’s Folly, found here on a map. It’s found on the road to Celbridge, on the right of the aptly named Obelisk Lane.

It’s a unique structure, nothing like its kind is found elsewhere in Ireland. Built between 1739 – 1740, commissioned by Catherine Conolly (Lady Conolly), who lived at the local Castletown House estate.  It was apparently built as a famine relief project due to a severe famine the previous winter. It closes the view at the back of Castletown house. It’s  a stone structure 140 feet in height. It was designed by architect Richard Cassels, who designed Carton House and Leinster House. It cost £400 to build. Workers were paid half a penny a day and local stories say that the stone was transported from a quarry in Leixlip along a human chain all the way to the site! It turns out the land on which…

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