Where the the Rye Water meets the River Liffey a Boat House Gazebo stands at the water edge. Before the dam was put in, the water flowed through the bottom of the boat house. The top used to be comfortably finished inside, with a fireplace.
The dog led me down the little path that ran to the Gazebo.
“The entrance to the boat-house is by a rough flight of curving steps leading down by one side of the main steps to the gazebo, under which is found a small chamber, which may have been designed to store boating equipment. In former times the higher water-levels would have flowed into the main chamber, directly underneath the gazebo, providing a most impressive sight.”
“The castle dates back to the twelfth century with many subsequent changes and additions, and its name, Leixlip, is derived from the Danish lax-haulp. This refers to the nearby salmon leap, which was famous for its great beauty before being submerged through damming for a hydro-electrical scheme.”
“The gazebo itself is a neat hexagonal composition in random stone and brick dressings, with door, fireplaces and windows all arranged to Pearce’s design for Lough Erne (another similar folly being discussed). A hexagonal roof and central chimney stack are further similarities, although at Leixlip the roof is domed and not pitched. Internally the dome is expressed in hexagonal brick vaulting and none of the wall linings has survived. The construction date and architect of the buildings are unknown, but there is a stylistic connection with some of Pearce’s other garden structures. Another, if rather tenuous, connection is the purchase of Leixlip Castle in 1731 by William Conolly, nephew and heir of Speaker Conolly, for whom Pearce worked on the neighbouring Castletown. The grand, stepped approach and pedimented doorway make the Leixlip gazebo a noble little building, and the interior certainly echoes Pearce, with the fine fireplace and diagonally laid floor-tiling which imitates, in a modest way, the flooring to the entrance hall of Castletown.”
I took these photos earlier, from the other side of the river.
“… the gazebo stands right on the water’s edge, above a vaulted boat-house.”
“… the fine gazebo which still stands in the grounds of Leixlip Castle, at the meeting of the Rye Water and the River Liffey.“