Past conservation projects at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
To look after places such as Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, essential conservation projects must take place to protect them for everyone, for ever. Take a look at some of those that have happened in recent years.
Past projects at Mussenden Temple
Mussenden Temple floor restoration
Originally designed and built for the niece of the 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry in 1785, today the Mussenden Temple welcomes over 50,000 visitors every year and is host to numerous weddings, concerts and events.
Despite surviving the test of time surprisingly well, Mussenden Temple’s floor had become in urgent need of repair. The vast majority of the original limestone flagstones were cracked, while the newer replacement stones were in need of cleaning and repair. A vital restoration project took place in 2019.
Due to the specialist nature of the restoration work, conservation experts Cliveden Conservation undertook this intricate task for the National Trust. The process began by steam cleaning the cracks and setting them with a colour matched pneumatic grout. A build-up of substance in the centre of the floor was identified as a non-toxic and natural sediment which the team then carefully removed using a fine diamond grinder to return the floor surface back to its natural state. In the final phase the conservators carefully rubbed back the surface abrasions on the newer stones and replaced the smaller outer stones that were beyond repair.
Past garden projects at Downhill Demesne
The secret garden at Bishop’s Gate
Formerly a tenanted property, the Gothic gate lodge at Bishop’s Gate was recently reclaimed by the National Trust as a new visitor reception point for Downhill Demesne, creating an opportunity for the landscaping of the surrounding outdoor space.
The project took place in 2018 and was largely funded by a £10,000 donation from the North Coast Members Association. It was undertaken by a small team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring the garden to life.
The result is a new ‘secret garden’, a pretty, colourful space that uses landscaping and the natural features of the site to create in effect a mini walled garden.
Discover more about the work that goes on at Bishops Gate garden at Downhill Demesne, thanks to the hard work and passion of our dedicated gardening and volunteer team.
See the Mussenden Temple perched on the clifftop and explore the dramatic coastal landscape of Downhill Demesne which is steeped in history. See far-reaching views from the country fields and paths. Look out for colourful wild flowers in the natural grasses.
Discover what volunteering opportunities are available at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, and how you can get involved.
Find out more about the funding the National Trust receives from grants, and the projects it has helped support.