Bangor Rd,
BT18 0EX

Approximately 8 miles from Belfast ‘s City Centre, just yards away from the noisy whirl Of traffic on the Belfast to Bangor road, is one of the busiest hotels in the North. You are immediately transported to an atmosphere of yesteryear, one of peaceful bliss.

It was built in 1876 in the Scottish baronial style by a Scot named William Robinson. Most of the building stone came from Scotland by boat, was landed at Portaferry and brought up the Ards Peninsula by horse and cart, so no wonder it took two and a half years to build.

Here Robinson lived in baronial splendor until 1896, when he willed it to the Church of Ireland.
It became the official palace for the Bishops of Down. A small chapel was built. This can be clearly seen as you approach the fine building.

It was sold by the church in 1920 to John Campbell, and passed through a series of owners until the present owner, Dr. Billy Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotel Group, took it over.
The Culloden is Northern Ireland’s leading hotel.

Its palatial surroundings combine 19th-century charm with 21st-century luxury.
This statement in the official brochure could not be more apt. The many fine features of this opulent hotel include a grand 18th-century fireplace, fine pieces of antique furniture, expensive paintings, fine plasterwork ceilings, wonderful stained glass windows, and Louis XV chandeliers, all combining to give this hotel its unique and special elegance.

For many years now, the former Bishop’s Chapel has been deconsecrated and converted into a Gothic Bar. Lately, it has been completely refurbished and it is now an ultra-modern bar. I wonder what the Bishop’s thoughts would be on the style of gracious living and drinking that now pervades his one-time palace.