Archive for Leixlip

The Wonderful Barn

Posted in History, Maynooth with tags , , on July 26, 2019 by telescoper

Despite the fact that it’s only a few miles away from Maynooth (in Leixlip) I had never heard of this extraordinary building until yesterday. The Wonderful Barn (for that is its name) is known to have been built in 1743 but nobody actually knows what its purpose was. Probably the best theory is that it was designed to be used as a granary, as it was built immediately after a severe famine (in possible anticipation of others in the future), but alternative possibilities to have been suggested are a tower from which people could shoot game birds, a folly (it was built by the Conolly family, owners of Castletown House and is on the Estate which has another famous folly), and simply as a means of providing work for poor people in a time of great hardship. Anyway, it’s a weird building, built from bricks but faced with what looks like recycled stone rubble.

Here’s a short video that includes some drone footage of the Wonderful Barn that gives you an idea of its corkscrew-shaped construction.

Advertisements

A Sign of Ireland

Posted in Maynooth with tags , , on December 15, 2018 by telescoper

Following my post earlier this week about Irish orthography and related matters, I thought I’d share a couple of random thoughts inspired by the above road sign.

First, notice the font used for the Irish names, which is a variant of the UK Transport typeface, but is notable for the absence of any tittles (a ‘tittle’ being one of those little dots above the i and j in standard type).

The other thing, which I only found out a few days ago, is that`Leixlip’ is a name of Norse origin – it means ‘Salmon’s Leap’. Apparently there was a viking settlement there, positioned because of the abundance salmon in the River Liffey which flows through on the way to Dublin. `Leix’ is similar to, e.g., the Danish `Laks’, meaning salmon, and ‘leap’ is similar to many words in modern European languages derived from proto-Germanic sources.

There is a Salmon Leap Inn in Leixlip. I have heard very good things about the food but not yet dined there. Nowadays however Leixlip is best known for the presence of a huge Intel ‘campus’, which is home to a large semiconductor fabrication facility, among other things.