This strange looking structure is called ‘Conolly’s Folly’ and stands 140 feet high. It is composed of several arches and is adorned by stone pineapples and eagles and is topped by a massive obelisk pillar. It was built under the instruction of Katherine Conolly, the philanthropic widow of William ‘Speaker’ Conolly of Castletown House. It provided employment for the poor of Celbridge when the famine of 1740-41 was at its worst. It is sometimes called ‘The Obelisk’ and can be seen from Katherine Conolly’s Castletown House. It was built on land belonging to the neighboring Carton Estate and therefore belonged to the Fitz Gerald family. It was designed by the famous architect Richard Castle whose other work includes Russborough House, Leinster House and Powerscourt House. It was restored in 1965 by the Irish Georgian Society but has since fallen into disrepair. William Conolly spelled his name ‘Conolly’ instead of the more common ‘Connolly’ as it was the original spelling derived from the Gaelic ‘Ui Conghaile’.

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