It was in January 1967 that we purchased the end Victorian town house, No2 Mulcaster Crescent, which cornered on to Scotland Road for £4,100.00. This was converted into a small guest house with 5 guest bedrooms and opened in June 1967, when you could get bed and breakfast for 21 shillings per night. It was a humble beginning, plastic sauce bottles were used on the tables, nylon sheets (1 pair per bed) 6d (old pence) in the slot for the television. Tea (from a large pot) and biscuits were served in the lounge at 9pm each evening.
In 1974 No 32 Scotland Road was purchased for £10,700.00, later that same year No 30 was bought for £9,100.00. On 23rd May 1975, we had opened with 17 rooms, after converting Mulcaster Crescent into 10 bedrooms, then in 1978 No 28 Scotland Road was bought for £12,500.00, giving an extra 10 bedrooms. By 1981 we had built the hotel up to 32 bedrooms, once no 34 Scotland Road had been bought for £35,000.00. In August 1983, No 26 was bought for £35,500.00 and then in November 1983, we added No 24 to our “collection” for £32,000.00 creating 44 bedrooms altogether.
When we were expanding the hotel car park in 1984, remains were revealed of Hadrian’s Wall and Petriana Fort. A 30 foot stretch of the wall was then excavated and archaeologists took many finds to the Tullie House Museum for exhibition. We now have two sections now visible of the Roman wall along the back wall that connects the hotel to Stanwix Junior School, please ask at Reception and we can show you photographs taken at the time of the excavation in our Hadrian’s and Cumbria Suites. In fact, we had authorisation to be able to use some of the stones from the Wall that had fallen into the Vallum and they are situated under the bar in our Hadrian’s Suite.
The conservatory was built in 1985, in its centre was an old Victorian well, however in March 1995 it was dismantled and money collected from it was donated to a local Hospice. The table that now takes its place is still known as the “Well” by the staff!
In1988 we demolished 6 bedrooms in the building at 2 Mulcaster Crescent and built a new block of 19 bedrooms at a cost of £400,000.00 and when the hotel was upgrading we lost a further 10 bedrooms and this then left a total of 51 bedrooms. The front wall was built in 1990, to effectively join the houses together.
By the hotels ‘Thirtieth Anniversary in 1997, the hotel comprised of a total of 7 terrace houses. No 2 Mulcaster Crescent and no 34,32,30,28,26 and 24 Scotland Road and our address is now known simply as 32 Scotland Road. With the many varying projects over the last 32 years to date, you now find the prestigious 3 star, 47 en-suite bedroom hotel that we have here today, also including an excellent 150 seater Restaurant, 6 meeting/conference rooms and spaces for 40 vehicles in the car park at the rear of the hotel.
The hotel has always been keen to incorporate a local and Roman theme, you may notice that our Conference/Function rooms are named thus; Hadrian’s Suite – after the wall, Petriana Suite – the Roman fort, Cumbria Suite – the county, Stanwix Suite – the village and Eden Suite – the main river flowing through Carlisle.
In the last couple of years, we have recently bought the next 2 houses along (No 18 & No 22 Scotland Road – curiously no No 20 exists) with the prospect of extending the hotel. It is hoped that we will be able to increase our number of bedrooms again, create new conference rooms and – more excitingly – develop a new hotel Health and Leisure Club.
And now we find that there is another part of the outer wall of the Petriana fort in the grounds of these newly acquired properties. (Petriana was the largest Roman Fort along Hadrian’s Wall and was as a very important garrison fort for a 1000 strong cavalry). It is because of this that we are at a standstill with the construction of our Leisure Club – as we await for English Heritage and the Archaeologists to assess the situation. As our Roman remains are the only significant section of Hadrian’s Wall in Carlisle, we also hope that we will
Be able to make a special feature of them in our car park in the not too distant future to take us forth into the next century and chapter of our history!!!
At last! The long awaited Leisure Club opened its doors January 2001, now named “Toria’s Leisure”, named after the owners daughter, grand-daughter, “VICTORIA” who tragically died in 1996, aged 19 years. The Leisure Club boasts a 13 station gym, steam room, Jacuzzi and sauna, it also has a fast tanning sunbed. In addition to our new gym we have a further six bedrooms and a new executive conference room which is air-conditioned, called the “Lowther Suite”, being the owners surname, all created from No 18 & No 22 Scotland Road.
The owners, now say they have finished extending.
Let’s wait and see !!!!!
Over the past few years however, the business had come into some financial difficulty. The principal owner had neglected to re-invest in the product and develop the services that are demanded of a modern day business. This led to the property being marketed and the business was sold onto Cumbria Park Enterprises in July 2012.
Cumbria Park Enterprises has traded and developed the business. Work has begun on refurbishing all 53 bedrooms and public areas, the aim of the company is to re-establish the business and bring it back to its former glory. On the back of success experienced through re-investment in the product further work is being carried out on developing gym and leisure facilities and we are now able to offer full training facilities as well as the use of its Sauna, Steam room and Jacuzzi.
These improvements and effort of the team have all contributed to the business being approached to join the internationally recognised Best Western brand (which we turned down) and also attaining a certificate of excellence from tripadvisor.