mussenden temple downhill castlerock coleraine northern ireland from downhill/benone beach

Mussenden Temple

by admin on May 9, 2012

in Activities, Day Trips, Uncategorized

mussenden temple in downhill demense northern ireland

Mussenden Temple from ruins of Downhill House


Commissioned by Earl Bishop Frederick Hervey in 1783, the Mussenden Temple remains one of the most iconic structures in Northern Ireland. The ‘Temple’ was built as a library for the Bishop and named in honour of his cousin Mrs Freidswide (Bruce) Mussenden who was a close friend. Mrs Mussenden died very young in 1785 the same year the building of the temple was completed and in effect became her memorial. The structure itself is based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli which the Bishop had tried to buy and relocate to Ireland. Naturally Roman authorities objected to the proposed plunder so the Bishop decided to build his own version.

mussenden temple in downhill demense northern ireland

Mussenden Temple at sunset looking towards Portstewart Northern Ireland

mussenden temple in downhill demense northern ireland

Mussenden Temple, Downhill, Northern Ireland photo by William Gilfillan

Today the Mussenden Temple is in the hands of the National Trust along with the remains of the Bishop’s Downhill Demense. The building is empty on the inside and is used for some cultural events including a series of mid-summer concerts and can be rented for weddings. It can hold a surprising number of people, I have been at concerts with 100 seated comfortably.

mussenden temple in downhill demense northern ireland

Mussenden Temple looking towards sunset over Inishowen, Donegal

mussenden temple in downhill demense northern ireland

Mussenden Temple at sunset overlooking Downhill beach

Mussenden Temple in Downhill Northern Ireland sits above an historic train tunnel

Translink's passenger train service from Derry to Belfast goes under the Mussenden Temple in Downhill

Mussenden Temple in Downhill Northern Ireland sits above an historic train tunnel

The historic train tunnel under Mussenden Temple brings the line from Downhill to Castlerock

I know some of you have marvelous photos of the Mussenden Temple from your times in Downhill, if you have any favourites you would like included in our gallery here please email them to us at info@downhillhostel.com

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