'The Place I Adore'

Published : 20 Jun 2016 Last update : 24 Jun 2016

Mount Stewart is a beautiful well-loved place that catches many of our imaginations. Over the years it has provided many a creative spark to artists and writers and we really love to hear how it continues to inspire our visitors to this day. We were delighted when Mrs Fulton, a teacher at Braidside Integrated Primary School in Ballymena, got in touch with us to tell us about Jessica Muir, one of her pupils.

Mrs Fulton had set her Primary Seven class a task; they had to write a piece called ‘A place I adore’. Jessica and her family are regular visitors to Mount Stewart and Jessica decided that this was the place she would write about as she had enjoyed so many special times here. When Mrs Fulton read her work, she thought Jessica’s piece was wonderful and that it should be shared with the team at Mount Stewart - we were thrilled. Jessica’s writing was so evocative of why so many of us do love this place and we decided that we really had to meet the star author herself.
We were very pleased when Jessica agreed to allow us to film her reading her work in many of the places she wrote about and so one sunny day in May, she came to visit Mount Stewart with her family. Jenny Ferguson, Mount Stewart's Volunteering and Community Development Manager and Mark Blackburne, a Learning Assistant at the property, were privileged to spend the day with Jessica.
The highlight of Jessica’s day was a visit to the private rooms of Lady Rose Lauritzen and her husband, Mr Lauritzen. Lady Rose was enchanted with Jessica’s obvious love for Mount Stewart and spent time telling her stories of what it was like to grow up in this magical place. Lady Rose presented her with a specially dedicated book all about Mount Stewart, which Jessica loved. The Mount Stewart team also presented Jessica with plants that were grown from cuttings here, in order that she would always have a little piece of Mount Stewart in her garden at home.
Watch Jessica’s video below and see for yourself what a talented girl she is. We hope that Jessica and her family will continue to visit and enjoy Mount Stewart for many years to come.
'The Place I Adore' by Jessica Muir, aged 10.
As I stare at the undisturbed beauty of the lake the picturesque beauty of the lake overwhelms me. With fumbling hands I reach for my camera. As the dewdrops drip off the trees, I get the perfect picture...
I gingerly put one foot in front of the other, hoping, praying that I will not fall in. I stagger around feeling dizzy, bewildered at the scenic view before me. As the old rope bridge wobbles, I laugh with joy for I know I will not fall.
Reaching down to snap a photo before the swan waltzes off, I am forced to take a step back. The swan hisses, clearly angry of being deprived of his afternoon nap! Other than that old dragon, the swans were graceful and elegant creatures, moving in what looks like a dance across the water. Once I saw a fox there moving as swiftly as the wind. 
As the wind whistled through the trees I found myself marvelling at my stunning but simple surroundings. How such beauty can make time stand still, remains a mystery to me. As I walk around to one of the largest trees, I love to step on the fluttering leaves, to hear them crunch. I look at the sky, story book blue, which is magnificent with the house itself against the skyline and the gentle lapping of the water against the shore.
As I step into the room, dimly lit by an electric light, I breathe in the musty smell, nervous in case I slip and break one of many priceless family heirlooms. As a small child grasps at a china vase, you can cut the tension in the air with a knife. I’m just glad it wasn’t me…
As I turn around I breathe in the heavenly scent of Sweet Williams. 'Come on!' yells an adult that looks a little too excited! As my family watch me, I stumble and almost land head first into the pond! As I run through the trees my Mum, Dad and Brother have already reached the end of the dirt track. At the end I see a magnificent topiary, shaped like a harp!
As I enter the house which, in my opinion, looks like a palace, the sheer architecture has a certain air about it that sends shivers down my spine. As I look into the drawing room all I see is dainty trinkets. When I look into the dining room I see the plates arranged from starter to main to dessert. The menus are in fancy handwriting but also in French! The bouquets stand tall and proud in all their splendour. Each room itself is twice the size of our classroom. 
These will be the memories that will stay with me for as long as I‘ll live. I adore Mount Stewart and after reading this, I hope you will too.