The Bishops Tree Trail

Field Maple Tree

On Saturday 12 May, we officially launched the ‘Bishops Tree Trail’, a much anticipated project that was led by our dedicated ranger and volunteering team. This trail is a welcome addition to the visitor offer at Downhill Demesne and is suitable for all ages!

A top 20 selection of exotic and ornamental trees are highlighted with attractive name discs, and referenced in a vibrant new leaflet, complete with map.  The trail is 0.75 miles long, and the trails are available at both Bishop’s Gate reception and Lion’s Gate car park.

This sheltered valley garden dates back to the mid 1770s, and contains features such as formal entrance lawns, a bog garden, sweeping drives and hints of a former arboretum.  All are the inspiration of the flamboyant creator – Earl Bishop Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol/Bishop of Derry (1730-1803).

Luckily for visitors, many of these garden features were re-discovered in the 1960s by Jan Eccles (National Trust Gardener).  She also added new specimen trees to the gardens, and 50 years later these plantings are beginning to mature.  Also more recent plantings include exotics from the Mount Stewart Nursery, with grant assistance from the Ulster Gardens Scheme.

Download the trail before your visit: The Bishops Tree Trail Map (PDF / 1.900390625MB) download