Main Record - County Westmeath
|Raleigh Obelisk, Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath
|Date||1805 - 1815|
|Categories of Special Interest||ARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL|
|In Use As||obelisk|| |
Freestanding obelisk, erected c.1810, comprising coursed limestone plinth on square plan with ashlar coping and tapered ashlar column on square plan (c.10 metres in height), terminated by pyramidal ashlar coping. Carved stone plaques to plinth to north and west faces read 'To the memory of Sir Walter G. Raleigh' and 'Erected by Sir Thomas Chapman Bart. A.D. 1810'. Located in a small hill in a prominent position in the landscape to the west of Killua Castle.
A picturesque and interesting monument erected by Thomas Chapman to commerate the introduction of the potato into Ireland by Sir Walter Raleigh. The ashlar construction of the column itself is of artistic merit. Obelisks were a popular feature of many large demesne landscapes, particularly in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century. They were mainly built as 'eye-catchers' to create a interesting and romantic vista from the main house. In Ireland many were built to commerate historic events, such as the Wellington Monument in the Phoenix Park (Dublin), which commemorates Wellington's military victories and The Boyne Obelisk, which stood close to the site of the Battle of the Boyne (Oldbridge, Co. Meath). This monument forms part of a very interesting collection of demesne-related structures within the former Killua Castle estate.
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