Ireland day 0031. Friday 29 October 2021- Rubbish

Ireland day 0031. Friday 29 October 2021- Rubbish
Today’s summary Started with the surprising discovery of a complete set of crockery in the recycling.   Then went on to Castletown, to the west of Dublin, to check out the Palladian house and its grounds.
Today’s weather Mild and bright all day.  Plenty of sun.   No rain or wind.   About 15C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click the button below to download a gpx of today’s walk):
Castleton gpx

So what’s with the rubbish bit of this blog?   And the picture at the top of a row of wheelie-bins?

Well the day started with a mistake.   I was despatched to the basement to deal with the recycling, which was all going very well until Val pointed out that I had put the bottles in the wrong bin.   So I had to open up the bin to retrieve the offending items and in the process discovered that the bin contained not only my errant glassware, but a full set of what appeared to be brand new crockery.   Having no morals at all, I dived in (not literally I should hasten to add) and retrieved as much as I could.   Truly a fabulous discovery, and particularly so because only moments earlier we had decided that the set of four plates, cups and bowls we bought at Tesco last weekend simply weren’t enough and we would have to buy some more.   They are now in the dishwasher having a 90° wash and we are feeling smug.

Jubilation in the bins behind us, we decided to head a bit further afield today, with a trip to the OPW site at Castletown, in Co Kildare (our first visit) about 10 mi / 15km to the west of Dublin.  Castletown is host to a fine example of a Palladian mansion and today stands in a vast parkland estate bordering on the River Liffey (Dublin’s main river).   (By the way in case you wondered what “Palladian” means – and I certainly was – it means a style of architecture based on the symmetrical designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio.   And indeed the huge house is strongly symmetrical when viewed from the front, the notable and jarring exception being that one of the chimneys on the right hand wing of the house doesn’t match all the others).

Like all OPW sites, entry is free this year and also like all the OPW sites we’ve visited, it is well organised and there are lots of helpful guides to explain what’s what.   We had a look round the beautifully restored ground floor: I was particularly fascinated by the physics of the cantilevered staircase (very Escher-esque) because I couldn’t see how it actually managed to stay up.

As the sun was shining, we decided to have lunch outside and then took a walk around the estate.   There are plenty of well made paths running through the grounds, down to and along the river, and it was popular today with young families with children on half term holidays.   The Liffey is Dublin’s main river and it’s evidently a favoured spot with anglers, judging from the abundance of notices explain what you are, and are not, allowed to catch (one pike, max. 50cm, per day, apparently).

We then drove back to Malahide via the M50 – which is Dublin’s equivalent to the M25 and shares many of the same features – e.g. stationary cars.   But unlike the M25, it’s a toll road, which is monitored by camera.   So my next job is to figure out exactly how to pay – which you do online and which I sincerely hope will be a bit more straightforward than the process for getting PPS numbers.   Then it’s on to preparing gear and packed lunches for a big day tomorrow – a longer walk with the Dublin Walkers, and it’s officially categorised as “hard”!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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The remarkable cantilevered staircase in the aptly-named Stair Hall.   The weight of each flight is completely supported by the one below it and there are no supporting rods from the individual treads into the wall.   I’m still not entirely certain how it works, but clearly it does. The view from the front door, looking onto the surrounding parkland
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Time after looking round the house for a quick canter round the grounds The Liffey forms the southern boundary of the estate
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Down by the river Val inspecting the Sarah Siddons temple, named after the 18th century Welsh actress – though I have no idea what her connection to Castleton was
Magnificent Castleton House, built by the Irish Speaker (and de facto PM) by William Conolly in 1722.   Conolly was a Williamite during the Battle of the Boyne and was granted the land afterwards in recognition of his support.   It is the earliest Palladian-style house in Ireland, and said to be the finest.
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