The beautiful Mussenden temple is located in the exotic surroundings of Downhill Demesne, near Casterlock in County Londonderry. It is situated on the cliff top of 120 ft on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland. You can often see the word ‘demesne’ used in many places throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland. It means a wall surrounded a part of the estate and was only for the landowner’s use.
History of Temple Mussenden
Temple de Mussenden Irlande du Nord, a small circular building, was built in 1785 and occupied part of the estate of Earl of Bristol, Frederick Augustus Hervey, and Bishop of Derry. The Temple of Vesta near Rome inspired the architecture of the temple. The temple was built on the memories of Hervey’s cousin Frideswide Mussenden.
Many breathtaking scenes of Mussenden temple Nordirland and its beautiful views are mostly photographed. For many years the temple was in danger of sea erosion. In 1997, the National Trust worked out on cliff stabilization to prevent the loss of the wonderful temple. When the temple was in danger of collapsing into the sea, it got listed on the 1998 World Monuments Watch.
How is the temple now?
The National Trust runs the temple de Mussenden. It was originally built as a library. Earl Bishop created a magnificent building to house his books, for which he chose a location for building a library. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point. The public can visit the temple only at certain times. A series of concerts and warm musical performances are conducted throughout the year.
You can find gorgeous coastal trails here, and the temple remains an iconic spot. In this temple, many licensed weddings take place. It is the favorite spot of photographers. The 17th-century Hezlett House is one of the ancient buildings in Northern Ireland which gives bleak realities of rural life.
What can you see at Mussenden?
You can see many species of wildlife, animals, and birds near the temple and around the place. Soon after reaching the site, visit the admission center to collect a Tracker Kit which contains binoculars and bird identification cards. You can stay until sunset to view the light change from the top of the cliff.
As Mussenden temple Northern Ireland is located 101 km northwest of Belfast and can easily be reached by train less than 1.6 km. If you are going by car, you can park it at the Downhill Estate with no parking charge. You can expect a small admission fee to enter the estate and the temple.
Always be careful that the coastal location may have strong winds and worse weather conditions at any time. So, check the forecast before you start and wear appropriate footwear and clothes according to the weather. You can warm up in a café here.
Grade of accessibility – Mussenden temple
- You may not find a good path there, but expect single file trails for your transportation.
- You may expect steep gradients and cross slopes, so ensure your safety while walking.
- Surface breaks and obstacles more than 75mm across the path line may be expected.
- You may find overhanging branches. You may or may not find rest areas and passing places.
This most photographed site has been preserved in Ireland. You can enjoy the panoramic views over County Donegal, Magilligan Point, and the beaches of Castlerock. Mussenden Temple was the best location for the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” as a part of Stannis Baratheon’s castle. The best place to visit and organize grander classic weddings in Northern Ireland.
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