Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mysterious Mussenden

Most Saturday nights when I was growing up, we had our dinner in The Wellington House in Dromore. More commonly known as McFadden's, it was the place to get good food. (Incidentally, it's now up for sale, if you'd like to invest in Dromore). In the back lounge, there were a series of pictures of famous places in Northern Ireland - far away, exotic places I only knew through the picture in McFadden's - Carrickfergus Castle, Derry's walls, and there might have been others. The one that really stood out, though, was the Mussenden Temple.

Many's a time I looked at the picture, wondering about the strange shaped building on the cliff edge, having never seen it in the flesh. I didn't even know where it was, or how you could get to it. All I knew was what I saw in the picture.

The Mussenden Temple stands on the cliff edge of the Downhill Demesne, the palace, now ruined, built by Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and the Bishop of Derry. The Temple itself was intended to be a library, named after his niece, Frideswide Bruce, who married Daniel Mussenden. Completed in 1783, and now in the hands of the National Trust, Mussenden Temple continues to inspire visitors - visible from all around, and also providing amazing views - it's well worth a visit.

Here are a selection of photos I've taken featuring the temple in some shape or form.

Dramatic clifftop location.

Looking out through the window onto Downhill Beach.

The train track from Coleraine to Londonderry runs beneath Mussenden Temple.

Watching over Castlerock Beach.

The door is open.

As seen from Downhill Beach.

Golden hour.

Train approaching.

Train entering the tunnel.

Push the button - forced perspective!

Mysterious Mussenden has me mesmerised!

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