Home

Who
What
Where
When
Why
Mussenden Temple Weird Thing
 

County

Derry

Coordinates

N 55° 10' 03.6"   W 006° 48' 39.18"

Nearest town

Castlerock

Grid Ref.

C 75763 36243

Map No.

4

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

57

Date of visit

Tuesday 30 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
Show Google Map              Show Monuments in the area

    
    
    
    
    
PREVIOUS      NEXT
A view of the Temple on the cliffs from the strand below. This is how it appears several times in the HBO TV series "Games of Throne".


This is one of those places that we had always seen on postcards or books and tourist guides, but we had never gone to.
It was about time that we payed this unusual building a visit.

It is part of the Downhill Demesne, a project begun in 1722 by Earl Bishop Fredrick Hervey who chose this prominent spot in North County Derry to build his majestic mansion and this small circular building that was his private library.
Hervey did many travels to Italy a he was probably enchanted by the architecture of the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome. On one of his travels to Rome Hervey was accompanied by Michael Shanahan, an Irish architect, who then built this structure for the Bishop. The library was dedicated to Hervey's cousin, Mrs. Frideswide Mussenden, a woman of great beauty.
The building has 16 columns and a dome surmonted by an urn. Right under the dome, all around the building, is a Latin inscription that read "Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem", the first two lines from the Book II of "De Rerum Natura", by the Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus. These words are translated as "Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's tribulation".
When it was used as a library, a fire was kept constantly burning in the basement and even in the worst weather condition the book were never damp. The entrance to the temple is via a 13 steps stair and a doorway on the south (180°) side. There are three windows to roughly the east, north and west.
The inner diameter is about 11 metres.
On the north side the cliffs is dangerously near. When the temple was built it is said that a horse-drwan carriage could be easily driven around the temple. During the last two centuries the forces of the nature eroded the cliffs, reducing the gap between the temple and the ravine.

In the same demesne there are Downhill House, the Bishop's mansion, now in total ruin, a Mausoleum dedicated to the Bishop's brother George, Belvedere, a summer house intended tor the Bishop's daughter Mary, a Walled Garden with Dovecot and Icehouse.

Mussenden Temple was one of the locations for the HBO TV series "Game of Thrones", as part of Stannis Baratheon's castle.


Browse by Monument Type
Browse by County
Browse by Date of Visit
Browse by Map Number

A-Z List

Clickable Counties
Clickable OS Maps Grid

Find a Map

Multimap

The days before GPS

The Stones in the Movies

Glossary
Links
Guestbook
FAQ

What's NEW?


Search


Site view counter: 7436069

Copyright © 2003-2018 Antonio D'Imperio
All the photos, the graphics and the texts on this website are automatically copyrighted to me under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works 1886. Any violation of the copyright will be pursued according to the applicable laws.

info@irishstones.org

Powered by AxeCMS/CustomEngine(V0.25.00 build 999) by Sergio "Axeman" Lorenzetti. (C) 2009-2015

counter