The History of The Rostrevor Inn

We can’t say for sure but it’s believed that the 18th century building that hosts the Rostrevor Inn may have started life as a police station and village gaol. We do know that in 1853, when Rostrevor was fast becoming one of Ireland’s favourite tourist resorts, Michael Crawford opened a family grocery store here and, later, a hardware store.

Horses would take groceries from the store around the local area. At that time the back of the pub was open and the horses would be kept in the stables area, which is barely changed today. In subsequent years, the Crawfords added a bar and, eventually, it became so successful that it took the place of the grocery store, with the store’s low counter used for the bar. Though sadly it was disposed of some years ago, that much loved low bar was famous around the county.

Michael’s widow Catherine took over the running of the establishment after his death, in turn passing on the bar to her son Patrick and the hardware store to her other son, Edward. You can still see the window pane from this time over the entrance to the main bar.

Patrick acquired a licence to bottle Guinness and now, instead of groceries, the horses would carry cartloads of Guinness bottles, all bearing the Crawford label, around Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and further afield.
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Portfolio Pic 06

Film Set

Now stripped back to its original 18th century stone walls, with an original Victorian fireplace from upstairs, Crawford’s Bar was once the family’s hardware store. In 2007 it was turned into a film set for the film of Maeve Binchy’s ‘How About You’, with Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Fricker. The film was shot in Rostrevor at the request of Maeve Binchy, who had lived here for some time. We’ve kept the bar counter specially made for the film set and we think Crawford’s – a regular venue for sessions and storytelling - is now one of the most inviting traditional bars in Ireland.

The Stables

Eamonn Crawford recalls bottling Guinness with the Crawford label as a child with his brother Seamus in the Stables area as late as the 1970s. We’ve barely changed a thing since the horses stabled here took groceries around the village, just adding two atmospheric snugs (made from the building’s original joists)! We’ve even kept the two mangers.
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Portfolio Pic 10