Sitting comfortably as one of my all time favourite places in Northern Ireland, Downhill Demesne has such a wonderful atmosphere of lost elegance and abandonment. Maybe thats just because I tend to visit here in the depths of Winter (or at the very least late Autumn) but theres definitely something magical about the place for me. I jumped on the first train from Belfast yesterday morning arriving at Castlerock Station at 750am (the Sun hadnt yet risen) and I walked along the empty streets of Castlerock town (waves crashing on the beach in a dark blue oncoming dawn) making my way across the Black Glen and up into Downhill.
By now the Sun had just poked its head above the horizon illuminating the temple with a warm orange glow.
Looking up towards the ominous shadow of Downhill House lurking at the end of the path from Mussenden Temple.
Dawn breaks above one of the faux fortified “castle” walls of Downhill House.
Upon entering the gate into what is left of the house I got a brilliant light show of sunbeams and shadows.
Most only venture up here to photograph the Temple but Ive always found the house just as photogenic. It has a monolithic presence on the skyline.
Behind the house sits the “mausoleum” not actually a tomb, just a rememberance monument. The winter morning sky gave it much more reverence.
One last shot of the Temple (taken from a less common angle) sitting as a coastal sentinel as it has done for 233 years.