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“Isolated, Curious & Beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple
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Luxury Day Tour of Ireland's Causeway Coast
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Part of "Downhill Demesne & Hezlett House" See main listing for full details.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Isolated, Curious & Beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

As a native of the north coast of Ireland, I have had the pleasure of seeing Mussenden Temple almost every day throughout my childhood, perched perilously atop the cliffs at Downhill. I've heard a number of people refer to it as an 'oddity', but I disagree, and if you pay a visit yourself, you'll understand why. The instigator of the project - Frederick Augustus Hervey, the 4th Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry - had Mussenden Temple built as a library. Of course, many wealthy people had libraries within their homes, though I would wager that not many had them located at the bottom of their garden. I would also wager that there aren't many places - let alone libraries - that afford such spectacular views. If the purpose was to provide a secluded spot in which to read, learn and ponder whatever Earls and Bishops ponder, then where better to build it than on that very spot?

The books and the shelves upon which they sat are gone, and all that remains is the bare masonry and brick work which gives the places an eerie echo when you speak. But, it's not difficult to imagine what it would've been like all those years ago. Today, the Temple is open to the public, but is occasionally booked for wedding ceremonies, and has also hosted a number of music recitals too. These are often private functions, but it's worth enquiring at the Tourist Information bureau if such an event is occurring during your visit.

What strikes everyone who visits Mussenden Temple, are the views from both inside and the surrounding area: to the east, the strands of the North Coast, the mount of the river Bann, and all the way round to Portrush and to the west, a magnificent vista of beaches, mountains and sky. It is particularly spectacular at sunrise and sunset.

If you'd like to make your visit extra special, drive or take the train to Castlerock, and go all the way to the west of the village until you come to a pathway that is signposted for 'Black Glen': if you are relatively mobile, and you don't mind climbing a substantial number of steps (it'll do you good!), then you can enjoy a beautiful and spectacular 'alternative' route to Mussenden Temple. There is a hollow between two hills, along the bottom of which runs the train tracks, and the Temple sits upon the hill on the left as you look towards the sea - this in itself is well worth a visit, if you fancy a secluded spot for some peace and quiet.


Visited November 2012
4 Thank Cowandspoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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211 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
81 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2013

I had wanted to visit mussenden temple for some time so while we where staying in Antrim area we did it is truly beautiful views from the temple are spectacular and inside the temple is lovely with views of the sea through all of the windows. The walk to the temple is delightful and entrance fee reasonable with the added benefit included in the price of then being able to visit hezlett house further down the road is also very interesting. take your time hear to really appreciate the views and bring a picnic.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Ruby K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Collierville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
224 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Beautiful on a quiet, misty morning”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2013

We got here on a foggy, misty morning which added to the mystique of this area. Spotting the temple from the ruins of Downhill House, it looked mystical sitting by itself in the fog and mists. Being an avid reader, one can imagine this as a library with what must be gorgeous views on a sunny, clear day. As we stood there, we could hear the waves crashing somewhere on the rocks below. We were the only ones around for a while and enjoyed the solitude in this beautiful area.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank TN-Traveler38017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yokkaichi, Japan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The unsung beauty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2013

Publicity and information about Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne is scarce; which is a shame as it may lead people to decide against venturing out there. I went there purely on a whim as I had never been there before. I discovered a fresh, lush, sun-dappled forest; the sparkling waters of a large pond, inhabited by friendly ducks; and after a healthy climb, a truly stunning, even breathtaking panorama of the North coast. On a clear day, you can see Scotland. Aside from the temple there is so much more to see and enjoy. It's a trip that all photographers MUST do, and at present there is even an exhibition of photographs in the temple itself. A fantastic way to blow away cobwebs and enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the North.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank NihonJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Holds a special place in my heart”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2013 via mobile

I LOVE Castlerock village, beach, castle, temple and beautiful walks. I can't wait until the national trust builds it's funds enough to start restoring the old castle.

At Times when people are worrying about money, what a great family day out. Pack a picnic and.spend full day full of fresh air, exercise, nature, architecture and history. It certainly beats an hour at the cinema sitting on your backside eating junk and not interacting with your loved ones!

Tips; bring bread for the ducks, and use the paths through the woods with aroma.of wild 'garlic'.

If the weather is good, you'll not get a better n.Ireland walk. Views to die for, a friendly little village. Love this place

Visited July 2013
Thank Sheltlea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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