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Mussenden Temple, Castlerock

(4.2/5 based on 200+ 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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TripAdvisor
  • This is a great little find. I saw this in a travel guide book in my hotel room. We had gone up to Northern Ireland spur of the moment and only knew of a few attractions. The Temple is situated on a c...  more »
  • The temple itself has not much to offer - round tower and nothing in there. But the view is breathtaking. You should connect this trip there with the downhill House located next door. Here comes the rain in about 10 minutes, so be sure rain gear to take.
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  • Recently visited Mussenden Temple and was very impressed. The walk around the temple was brilliant and the views across the sea breathtaking. Will definitely return, well worth a visit