The Wonderful Barn
|The Wonderful Barn|
|Status||Inactive, heritage building|
|Town or city||Celbridge|
|Elevation||60 m (200 ft)|
|Height||22 m (72 ft)|
|Diameter||11 m (36 ft) at base|
|Circumference||35 m (115 ft) at base|
|Material||red brick overlain with rubble stone|
|Known for||unusual shape|
The Wonderful Barn is a corkscrew-shaped building on the edge of Castletown House Estate of the Conolly family, which borders Leixlip and Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. It was built in 1743 on the Leixlip side of the Castletown Estate. Flanked by two smaller dovecote towers, it was built with the stairs ascending around the exterior of the building.
Several purposes are suggested for the unique structure. One theory is based on the custom in Georgian times of using doves as a delicacy when other game or animals were not in season, and suggest its use as a dovecote. The height of the structure would also lend itself to sport shooting, supporting another theory of its use as a shooting or gamekeepers tower.
However, a central hole through each of the floors supports the generally accepted theory of its use as a granary. The barn was built in the years immediately following the famine of 1740-41, as there was a need for new grain stores in case of another famine. The Conollys owned Kilmacredock and rented it out, so the barn was also useful for their tenants.
A similar structure known as the Bottle Tower, built in imitation of the Wonderful Barn, is located in Churchtown, Dublin, close to Rathfarnham.