The Downhill Estate was once the property of the Bishop of Londonderry, the Earl of Bristol, Frederick Augustus. The remains of the 18th century Castle entice some visitors. The gardens are also delightful. You can also wander the cliff tops, taking paths that provide some ominous views. Yet, the real attraction for many visitors is the MussendenTemple. It perches recklessly on the edge of the cliff, looking down at the sandy coastal beach below
The Museenden Temple is pure romanticism. It is a circular structure built in 1785. The basis of its design was the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy. Constructed as a library, it has only three windows and a door. They sit exactly according to the compass in the four directions. The rumor is the Bishop’s mistress used the Musssenden Temple as her boudoir. He did sit within its structure, urging on the races he arranged to take place on the shore far below. Today, the Temple may not see a mistress, but it is a frequent site for weddings.
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