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Mythical Ireland

The Newgrange Folly

The Newgrange Folly

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Just 30 metres to the northeast of the great megalithic mound of Newgrange/Síd in Broga is a curious structure about which very little is known. It is referred to as a "folly" (i.e. a building with no particular purpose) and is presumed to have been built some time in the 18th or 19th century. It features two circular windows and an arched doorway. Various theories have been put forward about its purpose, including that it might have served as an ice house or that it was some sort of masonic structure. However, the much more prosaic consensus among archaeologists is that it is simply "one of the 'follies' beloved of landlords in a more spacious age" (Claire O'Kelly). It was almost certainly made from stone which had fallen off the great cairn of Newgrange and was scattered around the immediate vicinity. Some follies were built merely as status symbols, while others were constructed in order to employ starving peasants during times of famine. Stuart Barton in 'Monumental Follies' describes follies as "foolish monuments to greatness and great monuments to foolishness".

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