In May 2013, the central block of Mourne Park House was destroyed by fire. Made all the more devastating, as we had just completed a 10 year restoration program and were in the process of finalizing plans for a conversion to a boutique hotel.
We are absolutely committed to restoring Mourne Park to its former glory once again. Since the fire we have done everything we can to preserve the structure of the building; removing, storing and shoring up where necessary. Frustratingly, we have not been able to proceed with the actual rebuilding process as we cannot get the insurance company to pay out as contracted; they would rather we accept a much lower figure and the whole mess in now in the slow cancerous paws of the law.
Meantime, the remaining parts of the building are suffering and we are tired of watching this totally unnecessary additional damage to our once beautiful, historic home being caused by some faceless suits
somewhere in London. Action is needed and we want to move forward despite them.
The undeniable fact is that Mourne Park House is an absolute opportunity for the right person or group and we wish to find such an investor for a Joint Venture. There are a myriad of possibilities, probably the most obvious being a Hotel / Wedding venue, but any development will have an important ripple affect for the whole area and will put the heart back into The Kingdom of Mourne. There is therefore a great deal of support from every angle and any realistic proposal will be encouraged and given every assistance by the relevant departments.
If you are interested in helping; promote Mourne Park and indeed The Kingdom of Mourne, to relevant ears and the right person, with the right vision will be found.
Mourne Park has been added to over the centuries and is of local stone fringed with climbers and mature borders. Situated in over 140 acres of parkland, woods, fields and paddocks the property benefits from excellent views over the lake towards the sea.
The house has both excellent formal reception rooms and entertaining facilties, coupled with a comfortable family atmosphere. The house provides extensive bedroom accomodation for both family, guests and staff, and in addition, two cottages in either courtyard which along with the gate lodges, are in need of some redecoration and refurbishment. There are extensive stores, outhouses and Victorian stables, along with garaging for up to 6 cars in the former coach houses.
The gardens have also been developed and greatly enhanced over the centuries to provide an oustanding collection of specimen trees leading away to the avenues and parkland.
The house is approached off the coast road through wrought iron gates up a beech and oak avenued drive with River White Water adjacent to the boundary on the west side of the Estate. The drive leads up to the striking west facade with a large gravelled parking area centred on magnificent chestnut trees. The house is entered through a heavy oak double front door.
The Current ownership of Mourne Park dates back to the founder of the Kilmorey Family's Irish Estates, Sir Nicholas Bagnall, who was granted extensive lands in Newry and Mourne in 1552 by Edward VI.
Mourne Park House was extensively re-built in 1806 on the instructions of the 12th Viscount Kilmorey, later the 1st Earl of Kilmorey. Later extensions were made in 1820 and again in 1859.
The main family seat was at Shavington in Shropshire, with Mourne Park used as the Holiday home. It was designed and used for lavish entertainment and house parties for the visiting Earl and often a Royal retinue from England. Indeed over the centuries many famous people of the day have stayed in Mourne Park.
On the death of the 1st Earl of Kilmorey, his son the 2nd Earl of Kilmorey, 'Black Jack' inherited the estates and the role of MP for Newry. He lived a notorious and colourful life, travelling extensively. Part of his legacy is the 'famine wall' which surrounds Mourne Park. He died in 1880 aged 92 and was succeeded by his grandson.
The 3rd Earl was involved with the London stage and built the Globe theatre. His extravagance led to the sale of Shavington and the family moved to Mourne Park which was extended further. A variety of specimen trees were planted at Mourne Park and today the gardens are a recognised arboretum.
Stone steps lead up to the impressive front doors which open to reveal a magnificent hall with wood panelling, floor and two cabin sky lights along the length of the flat roof above. At one end, the stairs lead the way to the landing and off to one side double doors lead to the morning room, used as the principal reception room which has welcomed many a famous political and Royal visitor. The aspect is southerly towards the lake and the french doors open to the garden. In the far corner is a decorative histroic wooden mantlepiece surrounding the open fireplace. In the other corner is a small cloakroom behind a fake bookcase. Doors lead off to the dining room to seat 20 which also has a southerly aspect and has views to the garden. There is a beautiful Georgian mantlepiece around the fireplace in the centre of inner wall; the room currently doubles as the billard room.
Doors lead through to the ante room which has double split doors to the southern terrace and the garden. It has decorative wood panelling with cornice and frieze. Beyond the ante room is the drawing room and a magnificent bay window leads out onto the garden. From the hall and adjacent to the staircase is the Blue room, this is used as a study room and is also described as the library.
From the Blue room the passage goes out to the eastern garden arboretum and on through to the eastern wing of the house with a further sitting room, cloakroom and the Long room. This is used as the party room where the delicious smells and senses of the formal garden penetrate the house via all the windows and doors which open out to it on the eastern side.
From the hallway the wonderful double stairs lead up to the galleried landing. The heart of the house is lit up by a magnificent skylight in the roof. Off the half landing to the passage with three bedrooms, one of which is ensuite and a further bathroom. This is the principal guest wing and from where there is access through the red baize door to the back stairs and Nursery wing.
In the Nursery wing there are three bedrooms, laundry room and bathroom. This could make a separate flat with access via the back stairs. Off the half landing is the Captains room with a marble fireplace currently used as a guest bedroom. This was the Butler's bedroom, well positioned to cope with the comings and goings of servants but well away from the principal bedrooms and guest suites.
The back stairs lead up to a further 4 bedrooms on the 2nd floor with further stairs at either end to the attic rooms.
Back into the main part of the house and the galleried landing leads into Lord and Lady Kilmoreys bedrooms. His Lordships bedroom faces south and looks over the lawns to the lake and the coast beyond with his bathroom ensuite. Lady Kilmoreys bedroom looks out over the more formal garden and the eastern lawns and pond. There is another bathroom as part of the suite of rooms. Along the landing to the principal guest room or 'best' bedroom with double sash windows looking over the centre of the house with a fireplace and southerly aspect. Three futher bedrooms form the corner of the first floor in a suite of bedrooms with shower room and bathroom.
There are four yards stretching away to the north of the house. The main yard is of stone cobble with a variety of out houses.
The 2nd yard houses the stables, carriage barns, out houses and the 3 bed courtyard cottage which is in need of complete refurbishment and modernisation. This forms the north east corner and the upstairs bedrooms are above the gararges.
The 4th yard is more of a kitchen garden accessed from the garden and drive, but not open to vehicles. In the north east corner is a 3 bedroom Gardeners cottage in need of some modernisation. The northerly boundry is the huge laundry room, from where the linen was shipped home from the London residence at Bruton St for laundering. With some redevelopment this would make a great games room, music studio or more accomodation.
Mourne Park is remarkable not only for its presence and history but its lovely arboretum and specimen trees laid out around the formal lawns and parkland running down to the lake. The property is ring fenced by the coast road to the south and the Championship golf course to the East. The River White Water is adjacent to the boundary on the Western side and the mountain and forest fringe the northern boundary. Specimen trees include a North American Indian Bean tree, reputedly the largest monkey puzzle tree in Ireland, Ilex trees, a handkerchief tree and Macrophylla Beech. The Kilmorey statutary in the eastern garden depicts a semi naked 'Black Jack' the 2nd Earl. It is an enchanting peaceful place interspersed with ponds and quiet areas, laid out for both smell and colour. There is a swimming pool and a tennis court in the garden both in need of modernisation.
The Park benefits from two historic avenues. The Jubilee Avenue leads off the back drive and although now part of the parkland was once a magnificent entrance. In search of privacy last century, the family changed the drives around so visitors now arrive at the side of the house.
The front and back drive are guarded by the two lodges. The front or White Water lodge needs modernisation. The back or Green Gate Lodge is in need of complete refurbishment and guards the drive to the back of the house and the access to Kilkeel Golf course.
Across the coast road from the front gate is an amenity area with access to the river and fishery.
In the main house all fitted carpets, curtains and fitted white goods are included within the freehold sale. All light fittings, fire grates garden furniture, and garden machinery as well as certain items of furniture, may be made separately available.
Newry and Mourne District Council, Monaghan Row, Newry BT3 5DJ
All viewings must be made strictly by appointment only through the vendor's sole agents.
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Northern Ireland is looking to the future and ready to move forward and 'catch up' with both the UK and the rest of Ireland in terms of its' infrastructure after emerging from it's troubled history. There is a huge political will to assist and promote quality development, particularly tourism facilities. Mourne Park could not be placed better or indeed be designed better to provide a landmark tourism based development. There is a huge gap in the market, both locally and province wide, for quality bed spaces. There are no major hotels in the vicinity, yet the area is a key tourist destination. The whole area is going to become a National Park in the near future. The current owners have spoken with the main political representatives and from these talks, along with feedback from the Planning Authority, Historic Monuments and the Road Service, it is clear there would be massive support for a sympathetic project in Mourne Park.
The overall Estate has already got a Championship Golf Course, Kilkeel Golf Club, which has hosted the British Amateur Golf Championships and the Senior's Tour, amongst other tournaments. There is also a section of Whitewater River which is considered one of the best Salmon and Trout fishing rivers in Ireland. Mourne Park House itself, along with the adjoining buildings, offers ample space and opportunity to incorporate a substantial hotel, capitalising on the myriad of historical features, to make a top class destination. Alternatively, an appropriate new build facility of sympathetic design would also be well received. In addition, a number of new build houses for tourism purposes could also be built on site. The parkland, woods and paddocks offer plenty of room for associated facilities. A development package is available from Knight Frank with lots more information on this aspect.
Take the M1 north to Newry, head east along the A2, through Warrenpoint and Rostrevor. After approximately 6 miles the entrance gates are on the left hand side where where the road bends to the left opposite the amenity area.
Take the A1 to Newry. Turn east to Warrenpoint and Rostrevor. And follow directions as above.
Mourne Park Estate