Monday, 21 June 2010

Optical Illusion

I've used this title because I can't think of a better way to describe the National Trust house that we visited at the weekend.  We spent Friday - Sunday afternoon on the North Coast of the province, near Bushmills.  The weather was GLORIOUS and on Saturday we walked for miles.  It was the mix of weather and location that can make you feel glad to be alive and to feel that you could do anything.

We went to The Downhill Demense and the walk through the estate itself is lovely.  To reach the remains of Downhill House you follow the paths cut into the meadow upwards towards the cliffs overlooking Downhill Strand.  Firstly you pass the Mausoleum, the top part of which was blown down in the Night of the Big Wind in 1839.

The views are beautiful.

You can see by the grass in the photograph above that there was a very strong breeze and it got stronger the higher we went.  Some of the pictures might be a little fuzzy - at one point the breeze was blowing straight on, making me take a step back as I tried to take a picture!

Approaching the house, this is what you see -

It looks as if there's just a shell of the front left and although it is very imposing, looks as if it will take maybe 15 minutes to see all there is to see.  

This is the house from the side -

My jaw dropped as we went through the front gate.  Because of the slope at the back you have no idea from the front of how large it actually is - the people in the picture above give some idea of the scale.  From the front entrance you walk through the centre down through to where the courtyard and stable yard were towards the back.  

The back looks like this

And a path from the rear entrance leads to the Mussenden Temple, possible the best known landmark in N.I after the Giant's Causeway.

This is on the edge of the cliffs looking over the strand at Downhill.  The picture below was taken from the side of the temple (you can see the wall on the left).

Again, for scale, the shapes on the beach in the distance are cars.

Most of the way round the estate, the wind blows off the ocean and you can see how it has affected this tree!

A lovely day!


  1. What an interesting, and informative, post. That sure is one heck of an optical illusion which must amaze people when they find out just what the building is really like.
    I like the photo looking down and along the beach, it sure is a stunning view! Flighty xx

  2. I'm glad you found it interesting, Flighty. I must say I really enjoyed it and we'll go back again sometime soon, I think. It's a lovely place. The photograph of the beach wasn't as death defying as it looks - there's a wall along the top of the cliff that curves out either side of the temple. Still I have quite a fear of heights so didn't linger too long.

    Thanks for stopping by :)