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Mount Stewart

The main block of Mount Stewart, with a giant portico fronting a balustrade entrance court, was built for the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in the mid-1840s, possibly to designs by the Irish architect William Vitruvius Morrison. The earlier 19th-century west wing is by George Dance the Younger, founder-member of the Royal Academy and pioneer of Neo-classicism. The Temple of the Winds, a banqueting house on a hill to the south of the main building, built in 1782–5, is by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. The interiors of Mount Stewart range from the splendid, monumental Ionic hall and drawing room to Dance’s more sophisticated work, especially his music room, with an inlaid floor of oak and mahogany surrounded by bog fir, and the beautiful domed staircase hall. Much of the house was refurnished in the 1920s and 1930s by Edith, Lady Londonderry, wife of the 7th Marquess and redecorated in the 1950s. Three years of extensive restoration work was carried out by the National Trust, from 2012 to 2015.

Visitor Information

Address:
Portaferry Road,
Newtownards,
County Down,
Northern Ireland,
BT22 2AD

Telephone: 028 4278 8387

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart

Accredited Museum

Mount Stewart, County Down (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 10,685 items online

A collection of objects relating to the career of Lord Castlereagh (later 2nd Marquess of Londonderry), now remembered as one of Britain's most important foreign secretaries, including the set of chairs used by the 1815 Congress of Vienna delegates (Wellington and Talleyrand amongst them) and a bust of Helen of Troy by Antonio Canova. A fine collection of paintings, including Grand Tour portraits of Robert Stewart (later 1st Marquess of Londonderry) by Anton Rafael Mengs and of Alexander Stewart by Pompeo Batoni; many portraits of the family by Sir Thomas Lawrence whose career was bolstered by his association with Robert, Viscount Castlereagh and his half-brother Sir Charles Stewart; equestrian paintings, including George Stubbs' 'Hambletonian Rubbing Down' painted after the horse's greatest win at Newmarket; important 20th-century portraits commissioned from the most prominent portraitists of the day including Philip Alexius de László de Lombos, Sir John Lavery and Edmond Brock. Brock's group portrait 'Circe and the Sirens', which depicts Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry and her three youngest daughters, captures the magical and creative spirit of Mount Stewart in the 1920 – the heyday of the house. The library contains many 20th century books, as well as books from the 18 and 19th centuries, owned and read by all the key members of the family. The 20th-century book collection was formed by Charles and Edith, 7th Marquess of Londonderry and his wife. Charles was a politician and writer; his wife created the gardens at Mount Stewart and her library reflects her interests in Irish and Scottish literature, history, archaeology, mythology, horticulture and design, as well as her own writings.

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