The Belfast Charitable Society’s members conducted a walking tour of the streets of Belfast, in honour of their 265th birthday, on today, 28th August 2017. It was led by social and political historian, Dr Eamon Phoenix. The walking tour offered an insight into the founding fathers of Belfast and the impact they and the Belfast Charitable Society had had since formation in 1752.

The founding fathers established the Belfast Charitable Society on the 28th August 1752 and was the city’s first charitable organisation set up with the aim to support the poor and provide assistance to alleviate the worst of the poverty, prevalent in Belfast.

Dr Eamon Phoenix said, “I was very privileged to be asked to create a walking tour for the members of the Belfast Charitable Society to mark its 265th year. This tour has taken the members through Belfast’s history and delved deep in the past highlighting the hard work and dedication of the Society.

Having built a poor house and infirmary, the charity became responsible for many civic functions, which we would more closely associate with the Belfast City Council today, including the likes of street lighting, paving, planning permissions, water and the original police service.

The tour visited many sites in Belfast’s city centre from the site of Henry Joy McCracken’s execution in Cornmarket to the original site of Belfast Castle in Castle Place. They also visited the site of the old Bank of Ireland building, which was the site of the George Pub where the Society was founded before they returned to Clifton House, home of the Society.

Paula Reynolds, CEO of the Belfast Charitable Society said, “We were delighted that Dr Phoenix agreed to assist us to mark this anniversary. We believe it was very fitting to walk the streets where our founding fathers, 265 years ago, once trod.”

Society members enjoy the benefits of two such events each year as well as working with the organisation in its mission to tackle poverty. If you would be interested in becoming a member of the Belfast Charitable Society, please visit: