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Mussenden Temple, Castlerock

4.5
#1 of 7 in Things to do in Castlerock
Religious Site Historic Site
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 Traveler Rating
226 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Really great National Trust property. Only £5 entry. Allow 2 hours at least. Follow the map so you get everything. Good walking shoes as wet under foot. Views spectacular! Toilet facilities in two spo...  more »
  • A few words of caution/thoughts: 1) there is not a lot of information provided... google it beforehand/afterwards OR maybe you'll get lucky like us and a local will give you a more detailed rundown. T...  more »
  • This is well worth a visit especially if your a national trust member. Make sure you park in the nearest car park so that you can go to the right temple  more »
Google
  • It is breathtaking. I should and could stop the review there, but I'll elaborate. You start at the mansion, where it has fallen to ruin. The walls are mostly in tact, but no roof, and the interior is starting to deteriorate. Exiting the rear of the mansion, you see the temple. You walk across a field to the temple overlooking sheer cliffs. Every few steps offers a different view. From one side, you see the beach and crashing waves. From the other, you can see sheer cliffs and a train track going through the mountain. Viewing from the beach is another unique view. Quite literally, it transformed into a completely different scene from every different angle. It's a photographer's dream :) I probably took 300 pictures here and had a hard time deciding which ones I liked most! This is a little out of the way of a lot of the other touristy places, but totally worth it! This was in my top 3 places I visited in Northern Ireland this trip.
  • Great place to visit to admire the temple and vista's. If you arrive after the offical closing time it is free to enter and admire the sunset.
  • The view is amazing! Nice walks through the area great historical site.
  • Unbelievably awesome place. Keep aside 2 hours for ur visit.
  • 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.

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