Mussendun Temple and Downhill Demesne, County Derry, Northern Ireland

Who wouldn’t want a library on a sea cliff, facing the North Sea? Well, not quite the North Sea, but Close!


I had heard of this place from Michele Erdvig, who has a great forum and guidebook called Irelandyes. I knew I had to seek it out, and was not disappointed. Since I went in November, I had the place practically to myself. A rainbow appeared on the water, and when I saw the second rainbow, I ran as fast as my fat self could run, in order to get the “money shot.” The sheep, which were everywhere, looked at me as if I was nuts.


Built in 1785, the Mussendun Temple was modelled after the Temple of Vesta in Italy, and sits perched on the edge of County Derry on a dramatic cliff. Fans of Game of Thrones will know the beach below from a scene where Melisandre, the Red Woman, burnt the nine gods.


Downhill Demesne lies in ruins after a fire in 1851. It was rebuilt in the 1870s, but has fallen into ruins once again since WWII. It served to billet RAF troops during that war.


Both places are open to the public. There is a short hike through Bishop’s Gate and the gardens to get there, and even in November, they were full of color and delight.



The Demesne includes a dovecote, walled gardens, a summer house and a mausoleum.




Many of these photos are on sale at my main website, Green Dragon Artist. If you don’t see one you like listed, let me know – I can add it!

I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

– Better To Have Loved – Contemporary romance based on the true story of my parents’ 30-year search for love

– Legacy of Hunger – Historical fantasy set in 1846 Ireland

– Legacy of Truth – Historical fantasy set around 1800 Ireland. Prequel to Legacy of Hunger, due out July 6th, 2016!

– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland

– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland

More info at Green Dragon Artist :: Home ,
Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author , and
Tirgearr Publishing – Christy Nicholas

Green Dragon Artist Blog

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Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore! Bestselling author (top #100 Amazon Canada, #1 in Paranormal Fantasy, Amazon Canada) Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with 'A', and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors with NO unfinished novels. Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad. Facebook: Homepage: Blog: Twitter:

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Posted in History, Photography, Travel

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