Gardens Near and Far episode 38 – Mount Stewart: Made in the 1920s by the English society hostess Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Marchioness of Londonderry, who played a major organizational role in World War I, this Northern Irish garden defies categorization.
The garden is traditional in structure, but its exuberant planting reflects its creator’s strong personality and sense of humour. In the turbulent period between the wars, Mount Stewart provided Lady Londonderry with a peaceful retreat and an outlet for her creativity. Here, she could express her highly individual taste and engage in all manner of experiments.
Gardens Near and Far episode 38 – Mount Stewart
Mount Stewart is a 19th-century house and garden in County Down, Northern Ireland, owned by the National Trust. Situated on the east shore of Strangford Lough, a few miles outside the town of Newtownards and near Greyabbey, it was the Irish seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, Marquesses of Londonderry. The house and its contents reflect the history of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, who played a leading role in British and Irish social and political life.
After the house’s interior, the Marchioness redesigned the gardens in the most lavish way possible. Prior to her husband’s succession to the Marquessate in 1915 the gardens had been plain lawns with large decorative pots. She added the Shamrock Garden, the Sunken Garden, increased the size of the lake, added a Spanish Garden with a small hut, the Italian Garden, the Dodo Terrace with its ‘menagerie’ of cement animals, the Fountain Pool and laid out walks in the Lily Wood and rest of the estate. In 1957, she gave the gardens to the National Trust.
The National Trust took over the house and gardens in 1977. The Trust operates the property under the name “Mount Stewart House, Garden & Temple of the Winds”. In 1999, the Mount Stewart Gardens were added to the United Kingdom “Tentative List” of sites for potential nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2015, the National Trust completed an extensive restoration of the house and its contents as well as the purchase of the wider estate re-uniting it and plan to open for visitor access