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Mussenden Temple, Castlerock

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web
Mussenden Temple is a small circular building located on cliffs near Castlerock in County Londonderry, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland.It was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, the Protestant 4th Earl of Bristol. Built as a library and modelled from the Temple of Vesta in Italy, it is dedicated to the memory of Hervey's cousin Frideswide Mussenden.Over the years the erosion of the cliff face at Downhill has brought Mussenden Temple ever closer to the edge, and in 1997 the National Trust carried out cliff stabilisation work to prevent the loss of the building.The inscription around the building reads, "Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem." "Tis pleasant, safely to behold from shore / The troubled sailor, and hear the tempests roar." The quotation is from Lucretius De Rerum Natura'', 2.1-2Now part of the National Trust property of Downhill Estate & Mussenden Temple, the grounds encompassing Mussenden Temple, and its manor house (Downhill Castle) are open to the public all year, from dawn to dusk. The temple itself is open on certain days, and admission is free. The Temple offers views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.
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  • The Mussenden Temple was built in 1785 as a library, with a beautiful coastal cliff as a backdrop. It's on the grounds of the ruins of Downhill Demesne, which are wonderful as well. We enjoyed hiking ...  read more »
  • Mussenden Temple is the standout in this set of ruins which includes Downhill House and a dovecote. Built as a library, the temple perches on the sea cliffs overlooking a vast beach stretching to Loug...  read more »
  • It's all completely free of charge: the gardens and ruins. The ruins are well catered for; the sheep that graze make everything much more picturesque. The views from the temple gives much food for various areally is beautiful photos.
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