Castletown House

[singlepic id=9 w=320 h=240 float=right]Castletown House (53°20′53″N 6°31′50″W) Ireland’s original and, at 52,529 square feet, largest Palladian country house, is situated at the end of an avenue extending from the main street.

The main house and entrance hall, which is believed to have been designed by Florentine mathematician and architect Alessandro Galilei (1691–1737), was begun in 1722 by William “Speaker” Conolly (1662–1729).

Castletown has two signature attractions.

[singlepic id=10 w=320 h=240 float=right]One is the long gallery, is an 80-foot/24m long room believed to have been designed by Edward Lovett Pearce (1699-1733). It is decorated in the Pompeian manner of blue and gold colonnades and wings.

The other is the main staircase, added 35 years after the completion of the house in 1759 under the direction of the Simon Vierpyl (1725-1811), uniquely cantilevered and made of white Portland stone.

It is also renowned for its stucco work by Paolo Lafranchini (1695–1776) completed between 1739-65.

[singlepic id=11 w=320 h=240 float=left]The house was inherited by Tom Conolly (1738–1803) in 1758 and the interior decoration was finished by his wife Louisa Lennox.

Conolly’s Folly or ‘The Obelisk’ was commissioned to provide employment for the poor of Celbridge in 1739 by Katherine Conyngham-Conolly (1662–1752), the widow of Speaker William Conolly. Designed by Richard Castle, it is 42m high and is composed of several arches.