Sunday, 22 August 2021

Lady Alice's Temple

LADY ALICE'S TEMPLE, Hillsborough Castle, County Down, stands most elegantly in the castle grounds.

This exquisite and delightful neo-classical temple was built about 1880.

It was said to be inspired by Sir John Vanbrugh’s creation of a temple garden at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, in the early 18th century.

Garden temples had become fashionable during this era.

The temple was built using masonry and cast-iron.

The copper-cladding is likely a replacement; the structure, however, seems to retain mainly original materials.

It affords a picturesque focal point at the end of the Yew Walk to the east, and the Lime Walk to the north.

Lady Alice's Temple replaced a summer-house which occupied the same site.

The Lady Alice Maria Hill (Countess of Bective) was the sister of the 5th Marquess of Downshire and Lord Arthur Hill, who lived at Hillsborough Castle in the last quarter of the 19th century during the 6th Marquess's minority.

Many garden temples were designed as seats to provide shade, shelter and a fine prospect of the grounds.

Moreover, Lady Alice’s Temple provides a focal point at the end of the striking Yew Walk, which approaches it.

First published in August, 2017.

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