that is Mourne Park
Northern Ireland is fast becoming the destination of choice for both domestic and International tourists seeking recreation, history and of course craic!
The favourable currency exchange rate is helping to fuel a significant increase in tourism numbers and there is a huge gap in the market, both locally and province wide, for quality bed spaces.
Mourne Park could not be located better or indeed have better attributes to provide a landmark tourism based development. In addition, the timing could not be better to capitalise on the opportunity.
There are no major hotels within the Kingdom of Mourne, yet the area is key to tourism in Ireland, specifically earmarked to be promoted over the next 5 years, with the aim of making the Mournes the top destination in Northern Ireland. We are regularly contacted by couples wishing to get married in Mourne Park and have no doubt that weddings would become big business.
Corporate training has also been highlighted as an obvious regular customer base for such facilities.
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 and the potential for coarse fishing in the lake. The Mourne Mountains form a semi-circle around Mourne Park and there are miles of breath taking walks for all abilities right on the doorstep. But perhaps the most remarkable element of Mourne Park is the arboretum. With 4 Irish Champion trees, 26 varieties of Rhododendrons, the first Dividia to grow outside of China, species of palm growing together seen nowhere else in the world, and so on and so on – this feature alone puts Mourne Park House ahead of any other potential site for a development.
In addition to a hotel in the main building, a number of new build houses for tourism purposes could also be built on site. The outbuildings, yards, 2 gate lodges and 2 additional cottages have great historical character for any number of uses. The parkland, woods and paddocks offer plenty of room for associated facilities. Ideas for add on businesses have ranged from a music studio to a shooting range, a distillery, a tennis / golf academy, a tree top adventure play area, equestrian centre, crafts and tea rooms; the list is endless.
Mourne Park is of built from local granite. Situated in over 140 acres of parkland, woods, fields and paddocks the property benefits from excellent views over the lake towards Carlingford Lough.
The house is approached off the coast road through wrought iron gates up a beech and oak avenued drive with the Whitewater River 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. 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 Whitewater River 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 (Dividia) 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 three avenues. The Jubilee Avenue leads off the back drive and although now part of the parkland, was once a magnificent entrance and could easily be reinstated. The front and back drive are guarded by the two lodges. The front or Whitewater 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.
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 entrance to the party wing of the main house (The Long Room), is located here. This 1000sq ft. dance hall currently houses the salvage ready for the rebuild but is still in reasonable condition. Four french windows open out to the garden and a giant Ilex tree under which many BBQs were had.
The Stable Courtyard has a 3-bedroom cottage (The Stables). There are extensive stores, outhouses and Victorian stables, along with garaging for up to 6 cars in the former coach houses.
Through the interconnecting back yard is a walled kitchen garden, with another 3-bedroom cottage (The Gardener´s Cottage). The northerly boundary is the huge laundry room, with some redevelopment this would make a great games room, music studio or more accommodation.