Mussenden Temple

Castlerock, United Kingdom

Mussenden Temple is a small circular building located on cliffs near Castlerock in County Londonderry, high above the Atlantic Ocean. Perched on the cliffs overlooking Downhill Strand, it was once possible to drive a carriage around the temple: however, coastal erosion has brought the edge closer to the building. 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.

Now part of The National Trust property of Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, the grounds encompassing Mussenden Temple, and its manor house (Downhill Castle) are open to the public all year, from dawn to dusk.



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Castlerock, United Kingdom
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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rider Budha (8 months ago)
Beautiful place for traveller s . Parking available. There are two parking if you to take the one near beach less walk. Also beautiful view from river side
Mark McLellan (9 months ago)
Stunning views although there's no entry to the temple building but the old mansion ruins are open.
GERARD MC SORLEY (10 months ago)
Spend 2.5 hours here with two children under 7. With a perfect sunshine day the kids imaginations ran wild exploring the mansion ruins and the mausoleum and Mussenden Temple. In its day this was an impressive house, mansion or whatever you want to call it but what happened to let it fall into ruin in less than 80 years? Had a great picnic in the grounds with the kids so Downtown Abbey existed here for a short space of time.
Francesca Dalbosco (10 months ago)
Mind-blowing. So peaceful, inspiring, wild. I am in awe of this place. And loved Castle Rock too. The village is adorable with lovely cafes and one of the best bakerys (the giggling goose) and chocolate shop ever!
Sandhyarani Analakkatillam (10 months ago)
Mussenden temple and downhill demise is a must see place in Northern Ireland. This place was open 24 hours and free to visit. But the car parking at Lion's gate nd Bishop gate opens up to 5pm and needs an entry fee. If you wish to visit the place for free, then park the car in Downhill beach (it's a drive in beach and you can park the vehicle in the beach itself) and walk 20 minutes uphill to reach the Lion's gate entry. We visited the place for sunset and sunrise experience and it was too quiet and wonderful.
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