Belfast Entries has been running for over 2 years now with nearly 200 articles published covering forgotten heroes, fascinating histories, ghosts, myths & legends and the histories of our towns, streets, hotels. We avoid the contentious ‘big’ histories, we’ll let the history books cover those. Instead we look at the events of those day from the common man’s perspective – what was it like to live in those times or walk those streets?

The most popular articles are shown at the foot of each post but we are sometimes asked about our personal favourites. As in all things, some of the most popular would be among our favourites but there are others that we loved that do not make the most popular list.

The list below includes some of our favourite posts.

Vere Foster – One of the greatest men you’ve never heard of

Vere Foster Grave Inscription
Vere Foster contributed enormously to Ireland’s famine relief, emigration support, charity, health & education only to die forgotten and poor. An extraordinary life worthy of a major Hollywood biopic.

How a Belfast Company helped defeat a killer disease

Edwards Desicatted Soup advert
The story of one Belfast company’s contribution to the fight on the twin challenges of scurvy and food poverty – Edwards Desiccated Foods

Hy Brasil – The True Story of a Mythical Island

A 1572 map from Abraham Ortelius that shows Brasil to the west of Ireland.
Hy Brasil was an island off the coast of Ireland seen by many over a thousand years until it vanished only to reappear every 7 years

Nora’s Grave – A True Story of Love & Death

Bodies Illustration at the scene Belfast Telegraph 13th March 1890
The love story of Nora Tattersall & George Arthur and their tragic deaths on the Cavehill, County Antrim in 1890 resonates to this day

Barney Hughes – The baker “beloved by the working classes”

Belfast Bap - from Rileys Home Bakery
Barney Hughes is remembered for his desire for social justice, his unstinting generosity and humanitarian reform, but also for the Belfast Bap

Galboly – The County Antrim Village Lost in Time

Thatched Cottage at Galboly Village
In the picturesque glens of Antrim lies the abandoned village of Galboly. Hidden from view, its derelict cottage ruins recall a bygone age.

Getting started on your family tree

Mother & Child - Public Domain
As you begin to uncover your ancestors, they will not just be names on a page but living people with lives and characters of their own.

Saint Mary’s Church, Belfast – An inspirational story

Scotty resting at St Mary's Church
The construction of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Belfast in 1784 with widespread Protestant support reflected the end of the Penal Laws

James Haddock – The Ghost Who Gave Evidence in Court

Courtroom scene
The strange tale of James Haddock, a man who died in 1657 but whose ghost returned subsequently to give evidence in Carrickfergus Court

Shankill Graveyard – A Fascinating History

Shankill Gatepost Sign
Shankill Graveyard has a fascinating 1,500 year history featuring St Patrick, plagues, famine, a bullaun stone & Resurrection Men

O’Hanlon’s Belfast – Walks Among the Poor 1852

Public Domain - Poor
O’Hanlon’s Letters, collected in “Walks Among the Poor of Belfast”, is a fascinating insight into the lives of Belfast’s poor in 1852

Naoise O’Haughan, Antrim’s “Gentleman Outlaw”

Three Sisters Gallows
Naoise O’Haughan, known as Ness or Neesy, was born in 1691 at Skerry in County Antrim and went on to become Antrim’s Gentleman Outlaw

The Last Witch Trial in Ireland

The Stocks at Purity Lane
The last witch trial to reach a verdict in Ireland took place in March 1711 at the Old Courthouse in Carrickfergus.

Ardoyne – The Story of a Village

Welcome to Ardoyne
Today Ardoyne is a busy working-class district in north Belfast. However it was once a village in beautiful countryside. This is it’s story.

Shipwreck! The Story of the Girona

Girona shipwreck (Unknown artist-engraver. Possible re-publication of a plate first issued in 1888 - Wikipedia)
The Girona story covers the Spanish Armada of 1588, war at sea, nature unleased and death. Only the Girona treasures remain.

The Forgotten Town of Coole & the Church of the Holy Evangelists

Church of the Holy Evangelists from the graveyard
The story of Coole parish includes a forgotten town, supernatural pacts, philanthropy & the history of the Church of the Holy Evangelists

The Inn, the Jailhouse and Robb’s Department Store, Belfast

Castle Place,Belfast 1843 -By French artist Alphonse Dousseau. Note the First Bank Buildings in the background (initially known as Cunningham's Bank)
The surprising history of Robb’s Department Store in Belfast’s Castle Place includes a famous Belfast inn, a rebellion and a jailhouse.

Body Snatchers – Death, Resurrection Men… and Murder

Dunegore Mort-House
In 18th century Ireland body snatching was a real problem throughout the country. A variety of tactics were employed to deter the thieves…

Ballymacarrett – From a Rural Village to a Shipbuilding Giant

The Yardmen with Samson & Goliath cranes
A history of Ballymacarrett from it’s rural beginnings, to a small village and subsequent emergence as a hub of Belfast industry & enterprise

Belfast’s Theatre Royal – Built 3 Times, Destroyed 3 Times

Theatre Royal Belfast 1880
The story of Belfast’s Theatre Royal from it’s creation in 1793 to its unfortunate end in 1915. A history of both success and disaster

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What are others reading now?

Galboly cottage view

Galboly – The County Antrim Village Lost in Time

By P&P / 30 September 2021 / 4 Comments
Mill chimney - a common sight in Belfast

Ardoyne – The Story of a Village

By P&P / 13 November 2021 / 2 Comments
Bodies Illustration at the scene Belfast Telegraph 13th March 1890

Nora’s Grave – A True Story of Love & Death

By P&P / 19 March 2022 / 0 Comments
Belfast Long Bridge crossed the River Lagan between 1688 and 1841

Unusual Laws in Old Belfast 1613 – 1816

By P&P / 11 March 2022 / 0 Comments

Cost of Living Crisis

Given the current cost of living crisis that will impact so many in coming months we have added a page signposting organisations that may be able to offer support. We have no relationship with these organisations and cannot offer financial advice but we hope that some of the links may prove useful.

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