About Us And Our Historic Downpatrick Hotel
“THERE HAS BEEN AN INN ON THE SITE AT LEAST SINCE 1642 WHEN JOHN MACGREEVY BUILT A STORE HOUSE, A GABLE WHICH IS STILL STANDING FACING ENGLISH STREET WITH A STONE SET HIGH UP, INSCRIBED JOHN AND ANN MACGREEVY, 1642”, MAURICE N. HAYES, 1984.
Established in 1642 by John and Ann MacGreevy, Denvir’s of Downpatrick is steeped in centuries of history and remains dear to the hearts of the local community.
When you visit our premises, you’ll be immersed in the historic surroundings, with many of the original features retained. Original 17th-century fireplaces, original oak beams, sash windows, and stone floors. Denvir’s Hotel is a door to the historical past that you only need to push open to experience for yourself.
About The Name Denvir: Former Proprietors Of This Downpatrick Hotel
The association of the name Denvir with the hotel dates back to the 18th century when John Denvir is listed on the voter’s list of 1797. The Denvir’s were a local family of Norman extraction, (probably d’Anver originally) and the name was largely peculiar to the area of Lecale.
It is likely that the d’Anvers fled to Ireland to escape religious persecution in France. Robert Denvir became the proprietor of the hotel in 1826, with his tenure described as “which he conducted with much success and advantage to the public”.
When Robert died in 1875 at the ripe old age of 100, his son Bob Denvir succeeded him as host of the hotel and in 1890, the hotel was sold to Arthur McEvoy, ending the association of the hotel with the Denvir family.
However, in 1937 when the property, then known as Magee’s Hotel was purchased by a Mrs Hayes, the memory of Denvir’s seems to have stuck in common parlance in the town, as Mr Hayes “painted out Magee’s name … restored the name of Denvir’s, and Denvir’s it has been ever since”.
Information for visiting Denvir’s
Interestingly, the Denvir family have spread their roots across the waters. In 1804, after one of our many rebellions, Patrick Denvir fled from Ireland after his side lost and settled in Virginia.
His Grandson, James W Denver, was to embark on a fascinating career which would see him study law, join the army, and progress to the position of Governor of Kansas before giving his name to the new town of Denver, Colorado!
However, although he visited Denver twice, on either occasion no special attention was paid to him which was said to have “rather hurt his feelings”.
A Debtors’ Sanctuary
Another interesting and peculiar privilege associated with the Downpatrick hotel is that inside the yard to the rear and in the recess on the frontage to English Street, a debtor could not be arrested for so long as they chose to remain.
This is thought to have resulted from the transfer of the right of sanctuary from the Cathedral when it was in ruins. There is no documentary evidence of a right of sanctuary, and the right has never been tested, as far as is known in living memory, so present-day defaulters would be unwise to rely on the protection of the tradition!
Visited by Daniel O’Connell
Daniel O’Connell (born 1775 – died 1847) was known as The Liberator and leader of the emancipation movement of the early 19th century which successfully saw the repeal of the English Penal Laws.
O’Connell visited Downpatrick in 1827 and was hosted in the upstairs function room in Denvir’s which was specifically created for the occasion by knocking two rooms together. After dinner, from the window of the function room, he made an impassioned speech to the crowds below who had gathered to see the great orator.
For almost four hundred years, Denvir’s Coaching Inn has witnessed many historical moments and has been a site of cultural influence. It remains so to this very day and will continue to into the years ahead.
The History Of Our Historical Downpatrick Coaching Inn To Hotel
Visiting Denvir’s Downpatrick Hotel
Denvir’s Hotel is situated in the heart of Downpatrick, offering a bustling space to appreciate the beauty of Northern Ireland and soak in the historical surroundings. It is also within close proximity to multiple tourist attractions, providing the ideal accommodation to embrace Northern Irish culture and explore cultural sites.
When visiting, be sure to check out;
The Grave of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, who is said to have been buried at the Hill of Down in Downpatrick in the 5th century.
Today, his gravesite remains a place of pilgrimage and worship. The grave is marked by a huge granite stone slab, which was put in place in the 1900s following public outcry due to pilgrims removing the soil when visiting the religious site.
Down Cathedral, also referred to as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity overlooks the town of Downpatrick and is also located on the hill of down, beside St. Patrick’s renowned gravesite.
There is also an exhibition centre nearby, which remains the only permanent exhibition of St. Patrick in the world. Visitors can learn about the history of St. Patrick and gain an insight into how life was lived back then.
Down County Museum
Down County Museum is situated in the former old Gaol of Down. It boasts an incredible collection of artefacts from the bronze age, historical photographs and interesting works of art. It is most definitely worth a visit for a glimpse into the culture and heritage of County Down and to learn about the poor souls transported to the colonies for so little as stealing a loaf of bread
Denvir's Hotel Downpatrick
Denvir’s is the oldest surviving Coaching Inn in Ireland and is now a grade ‘A’ listed building. The building itself has been extensively and sympathetically renovated while retaining its original character.
When you stay at our Downpatrick hotel, you’ll be immersed in a world gone. Rest your head in one of our tastefully decorated rooms, fill up with one of our delicious, freshly prepared, local dishes and enjoy some traditional Irish drinks in one of our atmospheric bars..
Denvir’s Coaching Inn is the perfect stay for a country home away from home. For more information or to book your break at Denvir’s, get in touch with a member of our friendly experienced team who are happy to help with all enquiries.