Travel Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Tourist Information Website

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne - About

Mussenden temple and Downhill Demesne is located at the top of a cliff were visitors can enjoy refreshing walks and stunning scenery. It also is located beside Downhill beach, which is 11 kilometres long, and new Benone Tourist Complex, a beautiful camping area that offers many family fun activities.

During the 1770’s Frederick Augustus Harvey, Bishop of Derry and later Earl of Bristol, decided to take residence and build Downhill Demesne.

Most of the garden buildings were built by Michael Shanahan, including Mussenden temple, which was constructed in 1785 as a summer library and its design was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Italy.

Apart from the period when the house caught fire in 1851, then restored in 1876 by John Lanyon, the house was lived in until the 1930’s. Shortly before the Second World War Downhill Demesne was occupied by the Royal Air Force.

The house was sold in 1949 and in 1950 the roof was taken off. This led to the building becoming the ruined state that it’s in today.


Standard Admission 
Family £11.27
Group Adult£3.80
Gift Aid Admission 
Family £12.40

Opening Times

Open all year


107 Sea Road,
County Londonderry,
BT51 4RP

Telephone: (028) 7084 8728