Walling and pillars located mainly to south of main house in area of the Italian garden which is surrounded by low stone wall with balustrades to north and tall row of evenly spaced columns to the south, each with moulded monkey-like beasts with an urn on its head and the shape of a human face further down the pillar.
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- GARDEN WALL (Early 20th C to Early 21st century - 1921 AD to 2050 AD)
The gardens at Mount Stewart were begun by Edith, Lady Londonderry in 1921 who gradually developed them over a period of 35 years and occupy an area some 100m by 50m in size lined with trees on all three sides and with the mansion house delimiting the fourth.
The Italian garden to the south of the house is roughly square in plan and is approached from the terrace at its north side, via a flight of stone steps. All around this portion of the garden there is a low stone wall which has balustrades to the north and a tall row of evenly spaced columns to the south, most of which each have been moulded in the fantastic shape of a monkey-like beast with an urn on its head and the shape of a human face further down the pillar. There is a different face on each pillar, each of which may have corresponded with a real person.
In the centre of the south wall are two sets of matching double pillars, with a griffin figure on top of each. Between these is a carved stone ‘basin’ beyond which a curved flight of stone steps (with moulded heraldic lions at each side) leads into the Spanish garden, a smaller rectangular plot with a small hipped pantile roof summer house at the south end. The central portion of this garden is sunken.
In the middle of the east wall is a decorative set of stone steps which leads from a terrace (running north-south) known as the ‘Dodo Terrace’, because of the moulded Dodo figures on stone pillars near the steps. This terrace also has other fantastic (and otherwise) animal mouldings on pillars etc. along its length. At the south end of the terrace is a small stone garden with a small portico with a flat roof supported by a wall to the south and four Tuscan-like columns to the north. There are two orange coloured moulded griffin figures on the portico roof and moulded heraldic motifs on the rear wall. On top of the balustrade on the steps leading to the Dodo Terrace is a stylised moulding of an ark. As one might expect, much of the garden wall are obscured by greenery.
To the west of the house is the ‘Sunken’ garden. It is square in plan and is joined further to the west by the ‘Shamrock’ garden, so-called because of its shape. Neither of these gardens appear to have any stone work or mouldings (their main features being of the floral variety including a topiary harp), but there is a set of decorative gate posts with moulded heraldic crown and swan motif and decorative wrought iron gates, to the north side of the Sunk garden.
Sales, J. 1990, ‘Themes on a Londonderry Air’, Country Life, May 1990, 180-187
A. Casement 1995 'Mount Stewart Landscape Study' (Unpublished 3 Vols. For NTNI)
Listed Building: Mount Stewart & garden walls Mount Stewart Newtownards Co. Down BT22 2RU (HB24/04/052A)
Registered Park or Garden: MOUNT STEWART (D-037)
Other Statuses and References