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Clifton House

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On this day 1847: Body of an unknown male infant male buried in Clifton Street Cemetery

By |October 7th, 2019|

On this day, 7th October, 1847 the body of an unknown child, found dead in the vicinity of Donegall Pass, was buried in Clifton Street Cemetery, following an inquest into the death. The ‘Weekly Vindicator’ reported on the proceedings in explicit detail:
It appeared from the evidence, that two little boys had been going across the fields, […]

On this day 1768: Constructing a Poor House

By |October 1st, 2019|

By the 1st October 1768 work was well and truly underway to source the materials required to begin construction of the Poor House which had been envisioned at the first meeting of Belfast Charitable 16 years previously.

Offers came from various philanthropists, but on this day 1768 the Belfast Charitable Society wrote a letter to Mr […]

Death, Tragedy & Betrayal: Halloween at Clifton Street Cemetery

By |October 1st, 2019|

This Halloween Week Clifton House will be hosting a special Halloween tour of Clifton Street Cemetery. Opened in 1797 as the ‘New Burying Ground’ there are many tales to be told here. Death, Tragedy & Betrayal focuses on the ‘darker side’ of the graveyard’s history- from the infamous body snatchers which plagued the cemetery in its […]

Revised biography of Mary Ann McCracken launched ahead of 250th Anniversary

By |September 19th, 2019|

Distinguished and respected Irish historian, Professor Marianne Elliott, officially launched a new version of ‘The Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken – A Belfast Panorama’ at Clifton House this week.

The book, first published by its author, Mary McNeill in 1960, has been republished as part of a number of events to celebrate Mary Ann […]

On This Day 1800: …a threat to the ‘very existence of the institution’.

By |September 19th, 2019|

The Poor House was requisitioned by the military during the 1798 Rebellion and for time afterwards. The Committee were forced to meet in the Exchange Building and other premises during this period. In March 1799 a letter was received from the Inspector General of Barracks.
Belfast 4th Mar: 1799

Gentlemen,
I hereby give notice that the
Poor House occupied […]

Funding Boost For Arts-Based Social Enterprise

By |September 19th, 2019|

A unique social enterprise in Derry is offering art and wellbeing programmes for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities in order to enable them to develop holistically and to provide them with essential job skills. Each week over 200 people are benefitting from day opportunities and multisensory programmes at Artspace.
Artspace opened in April 2012 […]

Clifton House Autumn Lecture Series: Explorations in Modern Irish History 1919-1969

By |September 16th, 2019|

Our ever popular lecture series returns this November! Belfast Charitable Society, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, are hosting Explorations in Modern Ireland History (1919-1969), a lecture series which will chart Irish history from the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence through to 1969. Taking in topics as diverse as […]

On This Day 1830: Mary Ann McCracken & the Poor House Nursery School

By |September 11th, 2019|

The Ladies Committee of the Poor House was set up in 1827, following a visit from Elizabeth Fry who inspired the women of the town to become actively involved with Belfast’s various institutions and charities. The initial minutes record that the ladies “beg most earnestly to assure… , that there shall be no interference […]

Celebrating 267 years of Philanthropy in Belfast

By |August 28th, 2019|

At the George, 28th August 1752
The evening of Friday 28th August 1752 was cool in Belfast. After closing up their businesses and homes, a group of nineteen merchants, burgesses (councillors) and a vicar, made their way to the George Inn at the corner of North Street and John Street (now Royal Avenue). It was there […]

On This Day 1818: Grand Duke Michael of Russia Visit to the Poor House

By |August 22nd, 2019|

On 22 August 1818 the Poor House had a rather unusual visitor. Grand Duke Michael of Russia was given a tour of the institution and must have been impressed by what he saw as he made a donation to support its work. His name was subsequently added to one of our donation boards which hung […]