The castle at the Salmon Leap!

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Where: Kildare, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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This lovely Royal plate image from Mr. French of Leixlip Castle with the Liffey in the foreground to start the week with a bang. The Liffey along that stretch and down along through Lucan and the Strawberry Beds is just beautiful with all the big houses and the fine land to green the view!

Based on some fine shots of the same view from John_A68 (Thank you for 1.5m views) it would seem that it is the trees that "green the view" today. And at least partially obscure the castle. The boat house is still visible and extant however....

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1880-1900

NLI Ref: L_ROY_02171

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 5550
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland leixlipcastle leixlip cokildare riverliffey weir countykildare castle salmonleap demesne riverrye river ryewater boathouse

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    • 25/Mar/2019 08:53:59

    Great old view!

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    • 25/Mar/2019 08:57:49

    Flickr is sometimes amazingly chilly! In March 2018 via [[email protected]/] [[email protected]/38791147570/]

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    John_A68 (Thank you for 1.5m views)

    • 25/Mar/2019 08:58:07

    Great to see the castle from this side, almost impossible to see from here nowadays. This is a shot I took of the boathouse last year during the snow with the castle barely visible even with no growth on the trees. The Boathouse, Leixlip

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 25/Mar/2019 09:00:05

    just beautiful!

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    John_A68 (Thank you for 1.5m views)

    • 25/Mar/2019 09:01:29

    [] THank you, you beat me to it....

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    • 25/Mar/2019 09:07:43

    [[email protected]] That's hilarious! I like this one of yours too (June 2014) - [[email protected]/14378254996/]

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Mar/2019 10:01:37

    The castle has been continuously occupied since 1172, per the NIAH

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    • 25/Mar/2019 10:14:15

    I don't see Des Guinness anywhere.

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    John_A68 (Thank you for 1.5m views)

    • 25/Mar/2019 10:28:15

    [] Thank you!

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 25/Mar/2019 18:03:19

    L I found this condensed history of the castle on the "Curious Ireland" website! " Leixlip Castle was built in 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, one year after the Norman Invasion of Ireland. This is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited buildings in Ireland. Leixlip means ‘salmon leap’ in Irish and its location on the confluence of the River Liffey and the Rye Water has has marked a frontier since the ancient kingdoms of Leinster and Brega. This was the site of the famous Battle of Confey, in which the Viking King of Dublin defeated the Irish King of Leinster around the year 917. This was also the furthest point up the liffey where longships could be rowed and the point that marked the border of ‘The Pale’ during medieval times. Soon after the castle was built, it was used as a hunting base by King John when he was Lord of Ireland in 1185. In 1316 it withstood a 4 day siege by Edward Bruce’s army and in 1567 it was bought by Judge Nicholas White in whose family it remained until 1728. The next owner was William Conolly, of nearby Castletown House, who bought it along with 809 acres for £12,000. Famous tenants during his ownership include Archbishop Stone, the Protestant Primate (1750s), the Viceroy Lord Townshend (1770s), Lord Waterpark, and Baron de Robeck (who drowned at the Salmon Leap!). In the 1920s it became the residence of the first French ambassador to the Irish Free State. In 1945 the castle was sold to William Kavanagh, prior to the purchase in April 1958 by The Hon. Desmond Guinness.

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    • 25/Mar/2019 20:59:36

    The NLI catalogue has a c. 1800 print showing the picturesque place in its heyday, before all the trees - In the churchyard to the right, they found the skeleton of a ten foot giant with a large gold ring in 1812 -

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Mar/2019 06:06:34

    [] Leixlip means ‘salmon leap’ in Irish The X is a giveaway that this place name is not from Irish, but from Old Norse ᛚᛅᚼᛋ ᚼᛚᛅᚢᛒ, from the Vikings. The same is true of other names with an X in Ireland, like Wexford and Sixmilebridge.

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    Mick @ MBE

    • 27/Mar/2019 20:55:25

    This shot was taken before the dam was built just up river. the whole riverscape has changed substantially as is evident in John McK shots above.