The man-made landscape of the Temple Water area, conceived by the Wards, Viscounts Bangor, is one of the most important late 17th and early 18th century gardens to survive in Northern Ireland.
The National Trust's general manager for South Down, Jonathan Clarke, remarked,
Over the years the design of the landscape has become obscured by self-seeded trees, poor drainage and other changes.
As a conservation charity we are committed to protecting our special places for ever, for everyone and so we are restoring this hidden part of Castle Ward to enhance visitor enjoyment and understanding of the area.
We anticipate the project will take three years and will include the repair of the Temple and improvements to the parkland that will open up views of both Audley’s Castle and Strangford Lough.The lake at Castle Ward, known as Temple Water, will be central to the restoration project.
|The Temple Water, Castle Ward|
Features planned for restoration include the crumbling stone sides of the Temple Water which have been weakened by tree roots over the years.
Historic paths will be reinstated along Lime Tree Walk and visitors will be able to grace the reinstated historic steps on the Yew Tree Terraces.
Improvements will also be made to access around the Temple Water by reinstating former pathways and steps; repairing drains; creating pockets of natural biodiversity; removing some inappropriate trees; pruning others, and planting new trees in locations based on early demesne maps.
|Map of 1835 showing the Green House|
A team of National Trust specialists including curators, archaeologists, historic gardens advisers and interpretation designers will be available to provide advice and work together to bring the Temple Water back to the late 17th early 18th century design.
The final picture will be a grand formal and unexpected statement in the midst of rolling landscape.
Bangor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.