Belfast Telegraph

Boost for Game Of Thrones tourism after new Inch Abbey Hotel is given green light

How the new Inch Abbey Hotel near Downpatrick will look
How the new Inch Abbey Hotel near Downpatrick will look
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Northern Ireland's Game Of Thrones tourism offering has been bolstered by official planning approval for a new 51-bedroom hotel at the Inch Abbey site in Downpatrick

The monastic ruins on the River Quoile were famously the location where Rob Stark's bannermen named him King of the North.

The Co Down river was also used in the first series to depict the Twins in the Riverlands.

Up to 70 hospitality jobs are expected to be created by the new four-star Inch Abbey Hotel, Downpatrick, which takes its name from the nearby historical landmark.

It will be built on the site of the now demolished Abbey Lodge hotel on the Belfast Road and include conference facilities, a function suite, bars and restaurant, and a spa that houses a gym, fitness suite, swimming pool, changing rooms and treatment rooms.

Industry monitor Construction Information Services has valued the project at £8.3m.

The company behind the plan, Inch Abbey Holdings Ltd, is owned by Sean and Dympna Morrison, who run grocery stores in Ballynahinch and Saintfield.

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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council signed off on the plan two weeks ago.

The ruins of the neighbouring Cistercian abbey date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, but an earlier Celtic monastic settlement on the site can be traced to the year 800.

The settlement was plundered numerous times by Vikings before the abbey was eventually established by John de Courcy during his Norman invasion of Ulster. It was said that he built it in repentance for the destruction of the abbey at Erinagh some three miles to the south.

The new plans come a decade on from a failed £14m bid by Co Down developer John Miskelly to build the 80-bed St Patrick's Abbey Hotel at the location.

The developer had several of his business loans taken over by US investment fund Cerberus when it acquired Nama's Northern Ireland property portfolio in 2014. The former Abbey Lodge site was later sold.

The cast of Game of Thrones attend the
The cast of Game of Thrones attend the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 premiere screening at Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first episode of the final season of the HBO series will air this weekend. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, and Isaac Hempstead Wright arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Jerome Flynn attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Liam Cunningham attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Maisie Williams (left) and Kerry Ingram attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 12: Isaac Hempstead Wright attends the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 screening at the Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Kit Harington attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 12: Maisie Williams attends the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 screening at the Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 12: Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner attend the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 screening at the Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Maisie Williams (left) and Sophie Turner attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Ben Crompton attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 12: Kit Harington attends the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 screening at the Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, and Isaac Hempstead Wright arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turnerat the the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Richard Dormer, Maisie Williams, Kerry Ingram, Gemma Whelan, Pilou Asbaek, Issac Hempstead Wright, Joe Dempsie, Conleth Hill, Hannah Murray, Jerome Flynn, John Bradley, Chris Newman, Bernadette Caulfield, Kit Harington, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Richard Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jacob Anderson, and Sophie Turner attending the Game of Thrones Premiere, held at Waterfront Hall, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 12, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Thrones. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Kit Harington arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Pilou Asbaek arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Sophie Turner arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Pilou Asbaek arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Richard Dormer arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Conleth Hill arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Carice van Houten arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Carice van Houten arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Stars arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Kit Harrington arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Kit Harington arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Kit Harington arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Kerry Ingram arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Kit Harington arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Hannah Murray arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Isaac hempstead Wright arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Ben Compton arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Gemma Whelan arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Jacob Anderson arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Liam Cunningham arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Rebecca April May and John Bradley arrive for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Jerome Flynn arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Jerome Flynn arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Jerome Flynn arrives for the Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier at the Waterfront ICC in Belfast on April 12th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Isaac Hampstead Wright attends the season six premiere of "Game Of Thrones" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

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