About the project


2012 sees the beginning of a new journey at Mount Stewart. The house has just embarked on a three year project which will involve important conservation work to the Grade A listed building.

The work includes important repairs and improvements to the structure and services in the house. Alongside this a program of conservation and research will help see the house, its contents and stories restored and brought back to life.

The project will be carried out in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1 – Getting ready
  • Phase 2 The building works – what’s to see
  • Phase 3  Completed project – the unveiling

‘Phase 1 of the restoration project marks the beginning of a very important and significant journey for Mount Stewart. As a National Trust top priority project the £6m investment will help us to bring Edith, Lady Londonderry’s vision back to life and we will be keeping the house open so that our visitors can watch the work in progress. This will showcase the work we do to look after places in ways which will leave a legacy for future generations. You are very welcome to the property during the project and I hope that this project will allow you to discover or rediscover the beauty of this great place.’

Jon Kerr, Property Manager for Mount Stewart House and Garden


1 thought on “About the project

  1. I am the granddaughter of David Ohannessian, the Armenian ceramist from Jerusalem who was the artist of the Bird Mosaic tile panel in Mount Stewart House. I have been researching my grandfather’s life and work for the last five years and am now in the process of writing a book about him. He dates are 1884-1953, and he apprenticed at a young age to a tile workshop in Kutahya, and became acknowledged as a master in his early 20s. During that period, he designed and created the famous “Turkish Room” for Sir Mark Sykes at Sledmere House in Yorkshire. In 1919, at the invitation of the British Mandate, he established a tile workshop in Jerusalem, where he continued creating tiles in the centuries old techniques he had learned and then refined. While in Jerusalem, he also did commissions for Sir Ronald Storrs, Princess Mary (this does not appear to exist any longer), Mr Ramsey McDonald, and Major Courtauld.

    My aunt, who was the eldest of his children, left behind a list, compiled during my grandfather’s lifetime, of some of his major works. In the list of works created during his years in Jerusalem (1919-48) there is the following entry: A summer house for the Marchioness of Londonderry, in Londonderry. I had not been able to find the location of the installation until the last few days, when I was given access to a trove of documents which contained an envelope addressed to the Marchioness at Mount Stewart House. I found the website of the house and then looked on Flickr, where I found this photo of the Armenian Bird Mosaic tile panel (he did a great many works based on the image of the Bird Mosaic, which was unearthed in Jerusalem in the 1890s and dates to the 5th or 6th century).
    Mountstewart, Northern Ireland

    I composed this note and sent it to the general email address of the house, although I don’t know if it will land in the correct place. My question is–are there more photographs that I could see? And is there any correspondence in the archives pertaining to this commission? Is there anyone with whom I could speak about it? The name of his workshop in Jerusalem was The Dome of the Rock Tiles. As you might imagine, I am extraordinarily eager to see the whole work (the photo linked above, seems to be just a section of it), and to know more of its background. It is also possible that the current occupants of the house may be unfamiliar with the history of the panel, and I would be more than happy to provide any information needed. I am hoping that as this is the website for the restoration project, there may be one of you that is familiar with this tile panel. I will be grateful for any help you can offer. With thanks, Sato Moughalian

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