Saturday, May 25, 2019
You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Official Opening of ‘The Abbey Restaurant’ 4 August 2010

Abbey Restaurant Strawberry and Cream Teas are now back on the menu at Rushen Abbey where Manx National Heritage and its new catering partners Sarah and Artan Giummri on Monday officially opened the doors to the new Abbey Restaurant. In a special ceremony performed by the Chief Minister, the Hon J A Brown MHK, the outstanding new restaurant facility was officially declared open.

The opening ceremony was attended by special guests from the local business community, dignitaries, neighbours and volunteers who have supported the development of Rushen Abbey since its purchase by Manx National Heritage.

Founded in 1134 by Olaf, King of Man, Rushen Abbey was built by monks from Furness Abbey and run by the Cistercian Order. The Abbey was a very important religious presence in the Island and was the last Monastic establishment along with the Nunnery in Douglas to be dissolved during the Reformation after which most of the Abbey buildings were destroyed.

Martin Moore, Chairman of Manx National Heritage said: “Around 1765, Deemster Thomas Moore, a senior Manx judge, moved to Rushen Abbey and built a fine country house which became, in 1847, a school for young ladies. This became a country house hotel around 1866 and is the present Abbey Restaurant building. The grounds of the Abbey itself became a fruit farm but it was in the early 1900s that it became a popular visitor attraction with tea dances and the famous strawberries and cream teas”.

Abbey Restaurant OpeningThe season would be opened in May or June with a church fete and stay open through the summer months, providing a venue to meet and dance. There was a dance floor outside in the grounds and live bands played for tourists during the day and locals in the evenings. Many young men of the day learnt to dance at Rushen Abbey and many went on to meet their future wives whilst dancing there. The famous strawberries and cream teas used home-grown strawberries from the grounds of the Abbey and when demand was high enough, from Ballasalla. Soft drinks, tea and coffee were served in the grounds of the Abbey, with alcohol available in the Rushen Abbey Hotel.

From the 1920’s to the 1960’s visitors paid an entrance fee to the Rushen Abbey Hotel and entered through a turnstile into the abbey grounds. Peacocks roamed the gardens, where there was also a vinery and a dance floor. Strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and blackberry jam were also available to buy in ‘Rushen Abbey’ branded jam pots.

Martin Moore, Chairman of Manx National Heritage went on to say: “Over the past three years, Manx National Heritage has focussed its attention to restore the former Rushen Abbey Hotel. The new restaurant provides a spectacular destination for eating out on the Isle of Man and completely transforms Manx National Heritage’s visitor facilities at Rushen Abbey”.
The Hon J A Brown, Chief Minister said: “The development of the Abbey Restaurant exemplifies Manx National Heritage’s role not only in the preservation of the past, but also in the regeneration of the Isle of Man’s towns and villages, a fundamental aim of Isle of Man Government. This new facility at Rushen Abbey has excellent links to Douglas, Castletown and the South by road, public footpaths including the Millennium Way and via the Steam Railway network. Over the coming months we will undoubtedly see further regeneration initiatives in these surrounding areas as the Isle of Man Government further progress the Town and Village Regeneration Scheme”.

Manx National Heritage today handed over the keys to the Abbey Restaurant to Sarah and Artan Giummri whose skills and experience have been instrumental in the successful development of the Abbey Restaurant.

Martin Moore, Chairman of Manx National Heritage said: “On behalf of Manx National Heritage, I would like to thank Mrs and Mr Giummri for their partnership and investment in the Abbey Restaurant, their commitment and hard work in getting the business ready and operational, and their efforts in building up such a quality team to run the Restaurant”.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 10am until 10pm, closing at 5pm on Sundays.

Telephone: 01624 822393


More stories >>>  

Related News Articles
Manx Museum Sunday Opening 26 July 2012
The Manx Museum will once again open this Sunday (29 July) to local residents and visitors, and to welcome passengers from the ‘Quest for Adventure’ cruise ship scheduled to arrive early on Sunday morning. [More]
Easter Events 18 April 2011
Hats off to Manx National Heritage this Easter as our sites are bursting at the seams with activities for all to enjoy. [More]
Songs of Praise at Rushen Abbey 8 July 2010
On Sunday 11th July join Manx National Heritage at Rushen Abbey and enjoy the sounds of choral music at the annual Songs of Praise service in the Abbey Gardens. [More]
‘Once upon a time’ at Rushen Abbey 10 September 2009
Once upon a time at Rushen Abbey. [More]
Boredom buster discovery trails launch this summer! 11 August 2009
Manx National Heritage has launched two new discovery trails this week aimed at 5-11 year olds. [More]

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World