The Masonic Arms Modern New Rooms Share A Touch Of Gatehouse History
The MASONIC ARMS is a popular, Restaurant and Pub situated in the heart of the historic town of Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway, which has now also become a boutique hotel, offering 5 brand new beautiful bespoke rooms.
The five stunning en-suite double bedrooms offer luxurious and stylish accommodation.
The restaurant offers a choice of dining experiences from their contemporary sunroom, the classic bar area or the alfresco beer garden. The bar has a great selection of beers, real ales and Scottish whiskies. Dogs are welcome in the bar and garden areas, but not in the restaurant or in the new bedrooms.
The Masonic Arms is owned by Richard, Sofia and Jimmy, who bought the building back in 2017. The building has an interesting history and was originally built in 1785 by local Masons. This consisted of the bar area on the ground floor and the purpose built hall above where the Masonic Lodge meetings were held, which is where the 5 hotel rooms are now situated.
Although there are no longer ties to The Masonic Movement some characteristics still appear in the hotel, including ‘The Masonic Device’, above the front entrance, which was constructed in 1802 and has been fully restored recently.
The three business partners took over the lease of the pub in 2013 and after 4 successful years as tenants they purchased the property in the summer of 2017. Since then the trio have invested a huge amount of money, energy and time into restoring The Masonic Arms back to its former glory. Starting in 2018 with a new 60 seat contemporary sunroom replacing the old conservatory, the whole eating area was designed by Sofia and has been enlarged to create a lovely, airy, light restaurant. New flooring, tables & chairs, local art and some tasteful re-decoration has transformed the area into a delightful eatery. Then in 2019 the kitchen was completely redesigned by Head Chef and co-owner Jimmy and fitted out to the highest state of the art standards, and in 2020 they built an extension to contain a new storage unit plus large walk-in fridge.
Most recently in 2021/22 the team created 5 bespoke en-suite luxury bedrooms in the disused upstairs part of the building. Each unique room was designed by Sofia who is originally from Spain.
Sofia said “It has been a huge project for me but I am very proud of the finished job. I tried to incorporate a modern and contemporary feel into the rooms using modern materials and colours plus antique furnishings. It has been really enjoyable and I just hope our future customers love it as much as we do.
“I am fascinated with Gatehouse of Fleet’s history and wanted to use it in the design of the new rooms. In the late 18th and early 19th century Gatehouse of Fleet was known as the “Glasgow of the South” as an industrial centre with a brewery and its own busy port, visitors will be able to see many old photos of the town and its industry in our new rooms.”
Sofia continued ” The next step was choosing the colours for the walls and fabrics, one of my main inspirations was the autumn colours in the nearby Callie Woods, they make the rooms look amazingly warm and cosy.”
Richard said “We are both pretty exhausted after all the hard work Sofia has done, but are glad she has finally finished the project.”
Jimmy added “My fantastic team in the kitchen and I are really looking forward to our new guests being able to sample our lunches, dinners and breakfasts, we use as much fresh local produce as possible.”
The pub has gone from closed and very run down to a fully restored, contemporary and comfortable boutique hotel & restaurant, which now employs a great team of local people.
- On Site Restaurant
- Non-Smoking Property
- Non-Smoking Rooms
- WiFi Internet
- Pool Table
- Internet Access
- Bicycle Parking
- Free Outdoor Parking (not guarded)
- Super King Bed
- Cafe bar
Thanks go to all the businesses and tradespeople that have helped on this project – Iain Hall Joinery as the main contractor, GW Davidson Builder, BS Electrical, Deeside Painters & Decorators, PWI Plastering, Donald Cowie Plumbing, Wilson’s Dumfries, McGowan Miller Dumfries, @AnySizeSofa and @Splash.