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Mt. Stewart Estate

You can find Mt. Stewart Estate just north of the Village of Greyabbey, where the mild climate of the peninsula is kind to growing exotic plants like those that flourish in its gardens. These unique beds, terraces, and walkways were laid out after WWI and are considered to be some of the finest in the country. The estate was the seat of the Marquises of Londonderry, and the manor house was built upon the remains of an earlier structure, beginning in 1804 when George Dance created the west face. William V. Morrisson designed the neoclassical main wing, added in 1845. The wife of the 7th Marques, Edith, was responsible for much of the current furnishings of the estate. She transformed it in the 1920s, beginning with the gardens. She gave names to special areas, such as: Tir n’an Og, or the Land of eternal Youth, Mairi Garden, Peace Garden, Italian Garden, and Dodo Terrace, which is decorated by statues of some of Edith’s closest friends, including Winston Churchill. Also on the grounds is an exceptional banquet hall, called the Temple of the Winds, an octagonal copy of a similar structure in Athens. It provides an exquisite example of 18th century landscape architecture. The grounds also feature a beautiful pool and bathhouse. Inside the mansion, Edith added Spanish Oak chairs, Chinese vases, and Louis Philippe tables, plus the 22 chairs used at the Congress of Vienna. The grand staircase is adorned with the famous George Stubbs portrait of Hambletonian, a famous racehorse who won the derby in 1867. His tail hangs alongside the painting. The library features volumes signed By Sean O’Casey. The sitting room displays a crystal chandelier shaped like a ship. Although the entire house has a grand atmosphere, it displays the coziness of family in subtle ways, such as the doorjamb whose markings indicate the growth of the Stewart children in the 1920s.

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