Mussenden Temple, Castlerock

4.5
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Castlerock
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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Mussenden Temple Reviews
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244 reviews
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  • August 19, 2017
    This beautiful site preserved by the National Trust has been a nice break on the road has the giant's Causeway.
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  • August 14, 2017
    This is a sureal building on the egde of the world, looking out to see, built by a eccentric genius to be enjoyed by us. Wonderful. Look up at the brickwork, amazing geometry and over 200 years old!  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    What an amazing place to build a library! Wish I had the money! Stunning views in any weather! Well worth the trek across the fields to see those colours and the mountains in the background. It must h...  more »
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  • June 20, 2017
    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.
  • May 7, 2017
    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.
  • May 28, 2017
    The view is amazing! Nice walks through the area great historical site.
  • June 16, 2017
    Unbelievably awesome place. Keep aside 2 hours for ur visit.
  • April 2, 2017
    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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