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Mount Stewart by Fara
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Another glorious warm and sunny day in N Ireland so off I went to visit this most interesting house and gardens near Newtownards, Co Down. I had never managed to get past the gate lodge on previous visits to the area. A second visit or maybe a third will be necessary to get the full flavour of the place. A major restoration of the main house is about to begin and should be finished in three years time. As always I never seem to have enough time to explore every nook and cranny of the gardens and today I managed to be last out of the gate again. But I experienced enough of the serenity of the place to make a return visit or visits most likely.
Mount Stewart is an 18th-century house and garden in County Down, Northern Ireland, owned by the National Trust. Situated on the east shore of Strangford Lough, a few miles outside the town of Newtownards and near Greyabbey, it was the home of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, Marquesses of Londonderry. The house and its contents reflect the history of the Vane-Tempest-Stewarts, who played a leading role in British and Irish social and political life.
Mount Stewart was formed by the Stewart family (later Vane-Tempest-Stewart), holders of the title Marquess of Londonderry since 1816. The family bought the estate in 1744 with money acquired by Alexander Stewart (1699–1781). This new wealth came from the sales of materials like linen. At the time, the house was known as Mount Pleasant.
Alexander Stewart’s son, Robert Stewart, became the first Marquess of Londonderry. In about 1800 he added a temporary wing to the west. He died in 1821 leaving the house to his son, also Robert, better known as Viscount Castlereagh, a prominent politician. Robert lived in Mount Stewart during his childhood until he went to University in Cambridge.
Lord Castlereagh inherited his father’s title only a year before his own death. The next owner of the house was his half-brother, Charles, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (1778–1854). He married twice but it was his later marriage which increased the family’s finances greatly. His second wife was Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest. She was the greatest heiress of her time. This huge new wealth prompted the refurbishment and enlargement of the newly renamed Mount Stewart. Controversially the Londonderrys, while spending £150,000 on the refurbishment only gave £30 to famine relief in Ireland in the 1840s, despite the fact that the Londonderry estates were directly affected by starvation. This remodelling created the present exterior of Mount Stewart. The small Georgian house and the small portico on the west wing were demolished and the house was increased to eleven bays. On the entrance front, a huge portico was added in the centre, and a smaller ‘half portico’ was added to the other side.
The marriage also brought in much of the Vane-Tempest property, including land. Wynyard Park in County Durham was also redesigned in the Neo-classical style. The couple bought Seaham Hall, also in County Durham, and then later bought Holdernesse House on London’s Park Lane. This was later renamed Londonderry House.
The 4th Marquess of Londonderry married the widow of Viscount Powerscourt and lived at her home, Powerscourt, near Dublin. The 5th Marquess lived at his wife’s ancestral property, Plas Machynlleth in Wales, and his son, the 6th Marquess, lived at Wynyard. These long periods of neglect nearly destroyed Mount Stewart.
The 7th Marquess (1878–1949), a well-known Ulster Unionist politician, and his wife brought a new lease of life to the house and its plain grounds. The Marchioness of Londonderry’s ancestral home was Dunrobin Castle in Scotland and it was that house’s gardens which inspired the Mount Stewart’s. She also redesigned and redecorated much of the interior, for example, the huge drawing room, smoking room, the Castlereagh Room and many of the guest bedrooms. She named the latter after European cities including Rome and Moscow.
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Comments

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 2 years ago

    Great history Joyce, my kind of place …

  • You may not believe this but when I was strolling round here in the warm sunshine your name came into my head………………I know you like interesting places and this is definitely one…………….I think there is a real connection between taking photos and remembering or thinking about fellow bubblers……………..or am I mad………………..haha…………………………thank you dear Tom……………………………x

    – Fara

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 2 years ago

    We are all mad – to some degree!!!

  • Dean Cunningham
    Dean Cunninghamover 2 years ago

    wonderful pic joyce – love the green and blue – would love to see this building even closer haha !

  • Say no more my little wombat…………………just give me a minute……………………………..x

    – Fara

  • Anytime now Dean you can view your closer up image and I will take you even closer to it when you visit N Ireland………………….the weather is gorgeous here at the moment…………………….ok………………………..thank you my friend…………………………Joyce

    – Fara

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you so much Audrey…………………..Joyce

    – Fara

  • Ana Belaj
    Ana Belajover 2 years ago

    Magnificent capture,great history !

  • This is a lovely place Anna………………….the good weather makes such a difference……………………….thank you so much my friend………………………………..x

    – Fara

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökover 2 years ago

    Superb scene and capture!

  • Many thanks Bela……………..good to have you back…………………………………Joyce

    – Fara

  • Charlie Mclenahan
    Charlie Mclenahanover 2 years ago

    Thank you, your image has appeared in
    Country Gardens Come Grow With Us open gardens forum..
    Please click the banner to view the forum index

  • Thank you so much for this feature…………………………..Joyce

    – Fara

  • vette
    vetteover 2 years ago

    What a beautiful place this looks to be. Beautiful architecture, and lots of history behind it. Great narrative by the way, very interesting. You captured the view wonderfully and I’m sure your visit was well worthwhile. Did you actually get a tour around the house? Type of place I really enjoy visiting myself. Susan

  • Thank you so much Susan. I did get a tour of the house which lasted one hour plus and was most interesting. The history of the place is fascinating. Edward V11 stayed here and I will put his bed up shortly when I get a moment. I just love these houses and gardens and there are quite a few of them in Ireland. Many of them I have not seen and some like Brideshead have to be revisited. There is also a connection to the present Duchess of Cornwall whose great grandmother Alice Keppel had the affair with the above Edward V11. Isn’t amazing how history repeats itself. More to follow my friend. Joyce…………..xxxx

    – Fara

  • LoveringArts
    LoveringArtsover 2 years ago

    Just the most Beautiful capture , Gosh Mount Stewart looks sooooooooooo appealing , a superb history write adds to a most Fantastic posting dear Joyce …..my special wishes and thanks for your always cheerful and compelling comment on my Twiggy portrait ..Wishing you a wonderful weekend ..Paulxx

  • Thank you so much Paul………………….the weather was kind last week so I made the most of it getting out and about with the camera…………………..this is a wonderful house and well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in this part of the world…………………….you have a good weekend too my friend…………………..Joycexx

    – Fara

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1about 2 years ago

    How beautiful!

  • Thanks a million Stephanie………………..it is a beautiful national treasure……………………..I do hope you are well…………………..it is quite difficult to keep up with RB at times so it is lovely to hear from you…………………Joyce

    – Fara

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