Mount Stewart and its Matriarchs
There can be few historic houses in the British Isles whose history was so definitely and continually shaped throughout the centuries by the women of the family, and where the lasting legacy has such a distinctively feminine resonance.
But in the case of Mount Stewart, home to the Stewart family, Marquesses of Londonderry, situated on the banks of Strangford Lough in County Down, this is indisputable. Whether the historian looks to the creation, continuation or conservation of this place, the women of Mount Stewart have played a leading role. Whether they be the wives or more recently the daughters of the family, they all have ensured that the Stewarts roots are firmly embedded in the fertile soils of the Ards Peninsula. Today, the house continues to embody the tastes and passions of the last marchioness to live at Mount Stewart, Edith, Lady Londonderry, who revelled in decorating and enhancing the house to her individual and vibrant tastes. Her granddaughter, the Lady Rose Lauritzen, the present member of the donor family to live in the house, continues in to advise the National Trust on how this legacy can be, not only maintained, but enhanced.