Carlingford Lough lies between the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland, and the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, Republic of Ireland.
The famed Victorian novelist William Makepeace Thackeray wrote that
"were such a bay lying upon English shores, it would be a world's wonder; or if on either the Mediterranean or the Baltic, English travellers would flock to it."The village of Rostrevor on its north-western shore has a particularly favoured position, with panoramic views of the lough and mountains.
The land was acquired from the Magenises of Iveagh by the Trevors (Viscounts Dungannon) in the early 17th century and was sold to the Rosses ca 1690.
In the 19th century, Rostrevor became a popular seaside resort.
Messrs Norton & Shaw, who operated a horse-and-carriage transport business from the nearby rail-head at Warrenpoint, commissioned a Newry architect, William James Watson, to design a new hotel on the site formerly occupied by the Old Quay Hotel.
The style was to be 'Domestic Gothic', with a 150 foot frontage to Carlingford Lough.
The centre block was to be one storey higher than the wings.
The foundation stone of the new hotel was laid on the 3rd April, 1875, and the building was completed by Alexander Wheelan of Newry almost exactly one year later, in April, 1876 .
|Skating Rink Entrance|
It opened to the public three months later.
Originally named The Mourne Hotel, it was acquired and re-named by the Great Northern Railway Company.
The Warrenpoint & Rostrevor Tramway company operated a three-foot gauge horsedrawn tramway service between Warrenpoint and Rostrevor from 1877-1915.
There was also a skating-rink attached to the hotel which had been built by the 3rd Earl of Kilmorey.
The rink had a capacity of 2,000.
During Christmas, 1903, a catastrophic fire broke out at the rink and the adjoining public bar, causing both buildings to be burned down.
The hotel was firebombed and destroyed during the Northern Ireland troubles in 1978.