On a Clear Day

The so-called Fleming’s Folly in County Cavan. Many fanciful stories have been spread about this little building, such as that it was constructed by local landowner Captain James Fleming so that he could see his son’s ship returning from America. More likely it is an early 19th century folly, of the kind then being constructed across the country: the building is shown on an Ordnance Survey map of 1836. Made from stone quarried locally, it is of two storeys and has the remains of a large chimney on the groundfloor; this suggests the folly served as a destination for walks by the Flemings and their guests. The building stands at the top of a hill above the village of Ballinagh and by climbing an intramural staircase it was possible in clear weather to see three of Ireland’s provinces: Ulster, Leinster and Connaught.

3 comments on “On a Clear Day

  1. Larry Byrne says:

    Considering its just a shell, the stonework appears to be in remarkably good condition.

  2. Wade Tarzia says:

    The folly tower was restored in 2013 to repair the damage seen in the photos above. It has since attracted a hiking path as well. The date is in question. A stone plaque that fits the “box” over the entrance has the Fleming and coat of arms and motto and is dated 1713 and is preserved on the inner wall of Ballintemple Church. The initials carved “TF” would seem to mean Thomas Fleming. So possibly the tower is that old, unless the plaque was from an installation at some other Fleming site. A Plantation-era Fleming did have a fortified house or “castle” on the current site of Cabra Castle.

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