Situated on the cliff top above the North Atlantic, the 18th Century mansion at Downhill would have once been a magnificent home.
It still is a beautiful sight but much of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1850s and fell further into disrepair after the Second World War.
Today, it forms part of the National Trust property of Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple. One of the main attractions of the property is Bishop’s Gate, a fine classical gate structure that once formed the main entrance. As well as giving access to Downhill it leads to Portvantage Glen, which has a variety of trails, a fish pond and picnic area.
Here you can explore the countryside of this part of Northern Ireland, which can be exceptionally beautiful, especially when the sun is shining. Walk though the unspoiled countryside and imagine what life must have been like here for Frederick Hervey, fourth Earl of Bristol, when he built the property over 200 years ago.
Today Downhill might be a ruin, but it is still possible to see what a remarkably beautiful place it must have been. Its position above the brooding Atlantic Ocean, nestled on the green downland, still gives it a sense of majesty and mystery.
Visit Bishop’s Gate, Portvantage Glen and Downhill from Lamavady - it’s just a short drive along the coast. National Trust members will also get a reduction on entrance too.