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Visiting the Westenra Arms Hotel, Monaghan Town, Republic of Ireland: warm, brick structure by William Hague

Updated on February 18, 2016
Flag of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of the Republic of Ireland | Source
The Westenra Arms Hotel
The Westenra Arms Hotel | Source

Of interest for your visit to Monaghan

Victorian - now Republican! - comfort

Yes, I have stayed at the fine, comfortable hotel in Monaghan (Irish: Muineach√°n) and would be most glad to stay there again; but these few lines are principally about some of the building's features and history. (Readers wishing for information about the services of this hotel should direct their enquiries to its management.)

The architect responsible for the design of the Westenra Arms Hotel was William Hague, Junior (1840-1899)(1). My subjective impression that the frontage of the establishment feels like that of a well-endowed theological college (yes, really!) is I suppose borne out by the fact that William Hague, Junior was responsible for much ecclesiastical architecture, especially in Ulster (2).

Features include execution in red brick as the main building material, with some stone facing. Red brick was a less usual material with with the architect worked in his many ecclesiastical creations.

The porch, with its four, stone pillars, was originally enclosed by a conservatory. Interestingly, the main elevation exhibits a combination of square windows, some with classical pediments, and several contrasting Syrian arches at the extension to the main elevation which used to serve as the town hall.

The name 'Westenra' refers to the family name of local landowners the Lords Rossmore, prominent during the Ascendancy.

This hotel building in Monaghan Town is a reminder of the comfort in which Victorians lived. Since partition in 1922, Co. Monaghan has been firmly part of independent Ireland, which later became the Republic. The building is situated at The Diamond, Monaghan Town.

February 18, 2016


(1) Other works by Architect William Hague, Junior, include: the tall tower of St Macartan's Cathedral, in Monaghan Town; St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny; the Archbishop's Palace, Drumcondra; the Methodist Church in Cavan Town; St. Patrick's College, Cavan Town; the re-design of Hilton Park, Clones; and many others. William Hague, Senior was an Irish builder.

(2) Bear in mind that, despite the usage of many people in Northern Ireland. the term 'Ulster' refers historically to nine Irish counties, six of which (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry or Londonderry) are in Northern Ireland and three (Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal) in the Republic of Ireland.

(3) See also:

Also worth seeing

In Monaghan Town itself, the Rossmore Memorial commemorates a local landowner who died tragically at an early age; other noted buildings include: St. Macartan's Cathedral dating from 1861-1892 (see also the text, above); Monaghan County Museum, located in Hill Street. Rossmore Forest Park, with extensive walks, is on the edge of Monaghan Town.

Clones (distance: 21 kilometres) has an interesting old market cross, a Celtic round tower and a ruined abbey.


How to get there: Aer Lingus flies from New York and Boston to Dublin Airport , from where car rental is available. Distance from Dublin by road to Monaghan Town is 125 kilometres; Bus √Čireann maintains a service on this route. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

A local map, of interest for your visit to Monaghan


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