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Mussenden Temple, Castlerock

(4.5/5 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 Downhill Demesne. The demesne was formerly part of the estate of Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol, who served as the Church of Ireland Lord Bishop of Derry from 1768 until 1803. It was Lord Bristol - popularly known as 'the Earl-Bishop' - who had the 'temple' built. Constructed as a library and modelled from the Temple of Vesta in the Forum Romanum in Rome, it is dedicated to the memory of Bishop Lord Bristol'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'', 2.1-2
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It was 20 years ago when we were last here and its still well worth it. The walk around the grounds out to the temple is very natural and the views of Downhill and Castlerock are outstanding. The Temp...  more »
  • This former library is a dream and totally worth the hike to the edge of the cliff. We were lucky to be the only people there at the time and were able to fully enjoy the views and serenity of the pla...  more »
  • Spent a comfortable hour walking from the car park to the Temple then onto the ruins of Downhill Demises and enjoying the spectacular cliff top views and looking down onto the beaches that stretch for...  more »
Google
  • The scenery here is World class ! Probably my favourite place to be when it comes to walks with breathtaking scenery. Lots of exploring can be done here.
  • Beautiful scenery. Lovely beach. Pleasant walks
  • National trust site. Some beautiful buildings and a lovely costal walk.
  • One of the most famous place in Northern Ireland
  • This was my first time visiting the Mussenden Temple up close and what an experience it was! I would recommend wearing good walking shoes for the long walk leading up to the temple. Before you see the temple itself, I would highly recommend walking through the Downhill Demense as this fascinating mansion has a lot of history behind it, in fact there is a plaque which tells you the history about the temple and Demense as soon as you enter the front door of the house, worth a read! The views as you look out the where the windows used to be have some breathtaking views of Castlerock. The Mussenden Temple itself is a beautiful building located right on the edge of the cliff and it has a 120ft drop but the views are amazing, you can get some incredible photos if you walk to the right hand side of the temple overlooking Downhill Beach and Donegal.