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County Rooms and Downe Hunt Rooms

County Rooms and Downe Hunt Rooms



Beside the Courthouse, Justine’s Restaurant is located in the former Downe Hunt Rooms, opened originally in 1746 as a ‘house of correction’, with vaulted cells on the ground floor.

A disastrous fire here in 1783 led to the opening of the County Gaol in 1796 and the conversion of the building for the use of the County Grand Jury.

The manager of the County Rooms for many years was Nicholas Coates, who had previously served as house steward to a noble family in Worcestershire. He made his name as the ‘inventor’ of Worcestershire sauce.

The County Rooms later became the clubrooms of the Downe Hunt, the oldest existing Hunt Club in Ireland and Britain.


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