Carrick Wood Spire, Laois, Ireland

Carrick Wood Spire is an 18th century folly located at the summit of the 32 hectare Carrick Wood in County Laois. The folly is striking with a tremendously tall stone conical roof and detailed stone-work. The construction date of the folly is uncertain but its is believed by some quarters that the building was originally a windmill and later converted into a folly. In 1801 Sir Charles Coote proposed that the spire had been erected, ‘to give employment to the poor in the year of the great frost’ (1740-1741). In 1814 William Shaw Mason wrote that it had been built ‘by the late Lord Viscount Carlow, grand-father to the present Earl of Portarlington’, the folly was to serve as a landscaped feature of Emo Court estate. If what Mason says is correct then the construction would have been far later as the Carlow viscountcy was only created in 1776. The ruin was restored in 2005 and is in great condition though unfortunately there is a substantial amount of graffiti covering its walls.

GPS: 53.14088, -7.1876

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