Mount Stewart library secured

The historic library at Mount Stewart © 19630/National Trust Images/Peter Aprahamian

The historic library at Mount Stewart

A hugely important library, dating back two centuries, has been secured at Mount Stewart in County Down.

The news comes after the team in Northern Ireland secured almost £100,000 in funding to purchase the important collection from the estate of the late Lady Mairi Bury.

Explaining the significance of the Mount Stewart Library, Jon Kerr, General Manager at Mount Stewart said: 'The library gives a unique insight into the reading and book-buying habits of a powerful and influential family from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

'It is possible through the books to trace the history of this famous house and its owners including Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, who created the famous gardens.

'The library contains thousands of books on a wide range of subjects, ranging from Lady Londonderry's truly magnificent collection of Irish books and her many books on gardening, architecture, archaeology and mythology which clearly relate to the creation of the inspirational garden you can see today at Mount Stewart.'

The books can be appreciated in their original setting in 2015 when the Mount Stewart House is fully revealed after a significant £7.1 million restoration project.

Sean Sawyer, Executive Director of The Royal Oak Foundation, a principal funder of the project, said: 'The Mount Stewart Library contains a wide range of important books that would not normally be available through public collections in Northern Ireland. This will open up some very important pieces of history to further research and will enable the information to be made public.

'For this reason, we were very pleased to get involved with this important project and, along with the Breslauer Foundation, provide significant funding to help secure the legacy of this historic collection at Mount Stewart.'

The funding for the library collection was secured through a range of donations including The Royal Oak Foundation, The BH Breslauer Foundation, Northern Ireland Museums Council, Friends of the National Libraries, Doreen Burns, Terence and Di Kyle.