Mussenden Temple is one of those places you never forget. The temple itself is magnificent and sits on one of the most amazing locations in Ireland. The Earl Bishop used it as his library.
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Mussenden Temple is located in one of the most amazing coastal locations in the world. It is perched literally at the edge of a cliff which falls away to the rocks and beach far below.
Mussenden Temple was originally built as a library, and the inscription on the outside of the temple reads, "Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis e tarra magnum alterius spectare laborem" which translates to "Tis pleasant, safely to behold from the shore, the troubled sailor, and hear the tempests roar."
It is one thing to have both the leisure time and a good book, but the Earl Bishop tops them all when it comes to creating a magnificent building with such a great view to house his books. What an amazing location for a library!
Mussenden Temple is within the grounds of Downhill Demense, and is run by the National Trust. Personally, it is not to be missed, and is one of my favourite places on earth. The sky, the sea, the view... An amazing pedestal above a sheer drop to the sea.
The Temple is located north of the manorhouse, Downhill Demense, along a well sealed pathway, straight from the castle exit, toward the sea.
It's a nice walk from Downhill with nothing but green grass, ocean and sky and a straight pathway to the library...
The Temple itself is only open to the public at certain times.
They do present a series of concerts and intimate musical performances during the year.
Visit the National Trust for more information.
It's not difficult to imagine the Earl taking a stroll from the house down towards the seaside cliff with a book. The walk itself it rejuvenating.
Even before reaching the library the sea and sky must have influenced his thinking. I think it would be very pleasant to have such a splendid space overlooking Downhill Beach.
The view over Downhill Beach, to the left of Mussenden Temple, facing west, is unbelievable. Really. Both incredible and amazing views.
And lots and lots of fresh air. On a clear day it's a spectacular view to Magilligan Point and the mouth of the Foyle and the shores of Donegal.
To the east is Castlerock Beach and the town of Castlerock.
It is also thought that CS Lewis took inspiration from Downhill. The Demense itself is a sprawling estate now in ruin, the large stone walls all that's left of a Bishop's household, now a monument to an Earl long past.
He used to holiday in Castlerock, the small town within walking distance of Downhill...
Many times I'd thought this location a lot like the stone-table ruins of the Narnia series, even before I heard this story about CS. The size and scale of everything, and the unbelievable location of the Temple... really amazing.
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