General information

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 2019

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival celebrates the history of Mount Stewart, revealing its unique stories and influence as a hothouse of ideas, debate, politics, music, literature and the arts.

Mount Stewart Conversations is inspired by this remarkable history but will feels truly contemporary; intimate and participative, relevant and challenging, dynamic and fun. Embedded in the local community, it draw guests and visitors from across the UK, Ireland and beyond.

Previously announced headline speaker Sky News presenter, Mark Austin is being joined by a sparkling collective of guest speakers including Royalty, a Lady, an award-winning journalist, a renowned historian and a local writing collective.

‘Rock Stars and Royalty’ will bring Princess Josephine Loewenstein and Lady Ann Glenconner together in conversation. Both ladies were close confidants of Princess Margaret and will be sharing stories of aristocracy, royalty and rock stars!

Renowned historian, biographer and broadcaster Hugo Vickers will be joined by Tom Perrin of Zuleika Publishing to discuss his career and writings. The author of many royal biographies, Vickers will deliver a fascinating insight into his life and works to date.

In a talk titled ‘Peers, Politicians and Polemicists: the people within the Londonderry papers at PRONI’ Lorraine Burke of PRONI (Public Records Office Northern Ireland) will begin to unlock some of the captivating characters that have shaped the history and legacy of the Londonderry family by providing a rare insight into the Londonderry papers which are held at PRONI.

Two local Saboteur Award shortlisted event organisers, Karen Mooney and Byddi Lee, together with local poet Gaynor Kane will curate and present a programme of readings by 20 local writers within the theme of ‘The Art of Conversation’. ‘Fast Fiction and Conversations’ will reflect issues that provoke and stimulate conversation in today’s society.

These talks complete the Mount Stewart Conversations Festival speaker line-up which is headlined by Mark Austin, the award-winning journalist and Sky News correspondent in the main marquee. Brought to the festival in partnership with Open House Festival, Mark will regale audiences with tales from his 35-year career, spanning warzones to World Cups. Mark will be joined by Stephen Walker to talk about his work and the man behind the news providing an amazing insight into one man's extraordinary career and the world of television news.

Outside of the ticketed talks, access to Mount Stewart estate will be free for the festival weekend, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic programme of music, theatre and workshops being delivered by the festival’s arts partners Seedhead Arts and Beyond Skin.

The wider festival programme will engage visitors in debates, performances and offer an amazing programme of arts and entertainment, full details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Opening times


Price list

Tickets for the talks are on sale now on the Mount Stewart website. Tickets to Mark Austin in the main marquee cost Adult £15.75, Concession £13.15 and Child (under 17yrs) £7.90. Talks in the Central Hall cost Adult £5.25, Concession £4.60 and Child (under 17yrs) £2.60.

Access to Mount Stewart estate on 7 and 8 September during the festival weekend will be free.


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  • Euro Accepted

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  • Credit/Debit Cards Accepted
  • Euro Accepted
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Contact Information

Event / Arts & Literature

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 2019

Mount Stewart House and Gardens, Portaferry Road
County Down
BT22 2AD
Phone number
T: (028) 4278 8387
Web Address
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