Mussendun Temple
Katie Ireland Designs Co

Mussendun Temple

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Mussendun Temple - NI North Coast

Part of Katie's Northern Ireland landmarks series.

  • A4 (210mm x 297mm)
  • A3 -(297 x 420mm)

Other sizes also available as print to order - get in touch to find out more. 

 

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.

Perched on the cliffs overlooking Downhill Strand, it was once possible to drive a carriage around the temple: however, coastal erosion has brought it closer to the edge. The temple 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.