Near the Northern Ireland town of Castlerock in country Londonderry, the Mussenden Temple is one of the more unusual structures you will come across in this part of the world. A small round building, originally intended as a summer library, the temple takes it's inspiration from the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli near Rome and indeed would look more at home on a street in Italy's busy capital than perched on a clifftop in northern ireland. The temple overlooks the adjacent beaches and estate grounds. Visitors can enjoy the amazing views while taking a clifftop walk among impressive 18th century ruins, including the shell of nearby Downhill house.
It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.
The temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol (or the Earl Bishop).
Both the Temple and the surrounding views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. Over the years the Temple itself was under danger of being lost to the sea due to the erosion of the cliff which brought Mussenden Temple ever closer to the edge. In 1997 the National Trust then carried out cliff stabilisation work to prevent the loss of this lovely building.
Northern Ireland’s capital has transformed itself over the past decade into a city of..Giants Causeway Information
Ireland's only natural World Heritage site, the Giants Causeway is located on the northern coast of..Armagh Information
County Armagh is the seat of both the Protestant and Catholic archbishops of Ireland, and, as such..Antrim Information
County Antrim boasts a number of attractions for visitors, not least among these is Belfast..Down Information
County Down, located on the east coast of Northern Ireland, offers visitors a range of attractions..Fermanagh Information
Fermanagh, situated in the north west of Ireland, is a true visitor's paradise with plenty to see..Tyrone Information
County Tyrone is the largest county in Northern Ireland below Derry. The flat peatlands in the east..See all locations in Northern Ireland