Mount Stwart is an impressive 19th century manor house, located in County Down in Northern Ireland. Located near the town of Newtownards, on the east bank of Strangford Lough, the manor house was the seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, one of whose members was then Marquis of Londonderry. Today, the manor and its grounds are owned by the National Trust, and are open to visitors!
The Stewart family (later named “Vane-Tempest-Stewart”) bought the property in 1744, thanks to the fortune amassed by the patriarch of the family: Alexander Stewart (1699-1781), then a great businessman in the linen trade.
At the time, the house was named “Mount Pleasant” because of its idyllic setting and its forest park.
As the years passed, Alexander Stewart’s son, Robert Stewart, was appointed Marquis of Londonderry. Around 1800, he decided to enlarge the manor house by gilding it with a temporary wing to the west of the building.
Upon his death, the house passed to the family heirs, until it became the property of Charles Stewart and his wife Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest . The latter possessed an important wealth, and decided to renovate and enlarge the manor, while giving it a new name: “Mount Stewart”. The work will then cost them 150,000 pounds sterling, an astronomical sum for the time that earned them the wrath of the local population! The family was blamed for spending more than they should have spent on their mansion, even though they had made a ridiculous donation of £30 to relieve the local population, who were suffering at the time from the Irish Great Famine. An act that made them quite unpopular!
In any case, the work brought a new cachet to Mount Stewart: the building is imposing, marked by neo-classical pediments and porticoes. From now on, the manor house evokes luxury and comfort and imposes some!
Nevertheless, the manor house was finally abandoned for a while, as the heirs preferred to live in Dublin rather than Newtownards. This temporary abandonment will precipitate the decrepitude of the manor and its estate.
However, the 7th Marquis Stewart eventually inherited the manor and decided to move in. Determined to renovate it, this couple brings a new breath to Mount Stewart. The gardens are then reviewed and inspired by those of Dunrobin Castle, a castle in Scotland. They added a clover garden, a Japanese garden, an Italian garden, extended the area of the estate’s lake, and created a menagerie, a terrace, a swimming pool and a promenade.
The interior decoration of the manor house was also redesigned.
The couple, then at the end of their life, decided to sell their estate and then the manor to the National Trust, which has since taken care of it and opened it to visitors.
The manor house and the estate are open to the general public, to our great delight. You will be able to discover the architecture of the building, visit its large rooms, and admire the surrounding luxury as well as the period furniture.
You will also be able to take a walk on the estate, follow the wooded paths, go into the forest park, or admire the different thematic gardens.
The place is magnificent, bucolic, and highly historical. Possibility to take advantage of temporary artistic exhibitions, and to learn more about the history of the manor.
To discover without hesitation!
variable hours depending on the period. Consult the site of the manor.
Web site : Go to the website