The unique gardens and whimsical statuary at Mount Stewart are showing their age. We need your help to restore them to their former glory. The gardens at Mount Stewart, located on the shores of Strangford Lough, County Down, created by Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry in the 1920s and 30s, are famed around the world for their grandeur and the bold planting schemes of many rare and tender plants. The gardens' colourful botanical treasures capture the imagination and excite the senses. They are a living, breathing masterpiece and utterly unique, due to Lady Londonderry’s vision and the unusual microclimate of the site - she introduced a stunning array of original plants, creating a wonderful collection of North American, Asiatic and southern hemisphere plants, many of them rarely seen growing outdoors in the British Isles. To this day, visitors to Mount Stewart are touched by her vision but the unique and vast collection of plants she created is now in need of conservation and refreshment from the plethora of new plant species available. With your help we can revitalise the collection to include newly discovered plants from North Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan in which Lady Londonderry would have been delighted. Please make a donation today to help support our work. Edith’s idea of garden sculpture was unique, quirky and fun. Where else would you find dinosaurs, cheetahs, orang-utans, squirrels and dodos resting among the unique plants? This distinctive statuary and hard-landscaping are an essential element of the gardens, framing views, providing backdrops and supports for plants, and a firm surface to walk on. Years of upheaval from root systems, frost damage and wear and tear, means that these features of the garden are now in need of maintenance and repair. With your support the orang-utan urns can continue to guard the gardens and to entertain future generations of children.
Lady Londonderry oversaw every detail of the creation of the interiors at Mount Stewart with the same energy and eye for colour as she did the creation of the gardens. And in the same way she constantly refreshed and updated rooms that were looking tired. Many rooms are now looking sad; nearly a century of use, exposure to light and gradual structural decay have eroded the quality and colour of many of the interiors. We need your help to transform the house from 'decayed elegance' back to the rich and ebullient grace of the 20s up to the 70s. From furniture to fabrics, picture and silver, all are now in need of restoration. Your gift will help us conserve or replace faded velvets and shredded silks and stabilise and display hidden treasures from the Mount Stewart collection, before they are damaged beyond repair and lost forever. The Londonderry family achieved great political influence in Ireland, UK and Europe over two centuries. Mount Stewart is the family’s last surviving home and has become the repository of possessions and the family’s collective memory. Please help us conserve these wonderful items which are an intrinsic part of the history of Mount Stewart and will play a significant role in our interpretation offer for visitors to view and experience life at Mount Stewart. Please donate today and help bring the spirit of Mount Stewart back to life. Please help us to share with all who visit Mount Stewart, the special qualities that inspired Lady Londonderry to declare: 'this is truly the Land of Heart’s Delight'. By making a donation today, you will help ensure that current and future generations can experience this spectacular place and we can re-create the paradise that Edith, Lady Londonderry envisioned.