Belfast Entries now includes over 100 posts on a range of subjects ranging from places to see, forgotten heroes, Belfast’s old department stores and products from the past. We try to add articles that are quirky & of interest to anyone living or visiting Belfast and beyond.

  • November 29, 2022 : Redmond O’Hanlon – A formidable 17th Century Outlaw
    Redmond O’Hanlon (Reamonn O’hAnluain) was probably the most successful outlaw in Ireland in the seventeenth century.
    Count Redmond O'Hanlon
  • November 18, 2022 : The Execution of Rev James Porter
    If James Porter had ignored the injustices around him, he would have lived a long comfortable life. Instead he stood by his principles
    The Grey Abbey
  • November 11, 2022 : The Story of Belfast’s Very Beautiful Warehouse
    The story of the Belfast Warehouse described by Oscar Wilde as "beautiful in colour, and very beautiful in design"
    The Beautiful Warehouse
  • November 1, 2022 : Four Lives to Remember – From Ejector Seats to the Stars
    Lives of James Martin (The Ejector Seat), Thomas Romney Robinson (Astronomer), John Dunlop (Pneumatic Tyre), and Andrew Ashe (Musician)
    Capt. Christopher Stricklin ejects from his F-16 aircraft without injury - Idaho 14 September 2003 - Public Domain Wikipedia
  • October 28, 2022 : Winecellar Entry and its Historic Tavern
    The story of Winecellar Entry from its earliest incarnation as Bigart's Alley to the entry of today, best known for its historic tavern.
    Walking from High Street to Rosemary Street
  • October 18, 2022 : Half-hung McNaughten – A Victim or a Villain?
    McNaughten's true tale has everything - a charming rogue a beautiful young lady, a marriage denied leading to death and punishment.
    Guns and Carriage
  • October 14, 2022 : WW2 – The US Flying Fortress Crash on the Cave Hill
    On 1st June 1944, en route to assist the Allies, a US B-17 Plane crashed into the Cave Hill in north Belfast.
    B-17 Flying Fortress (Public Domain Images)
  • October 4, 2022 : One Belfast Street , 400 Years of History- Millfield
    Millfield's appearance today of a bland city centre road belies its rich history as a main arterial route from Dublin to Carrickfergus.
    Millfield View Today
  • September 23, 2022 : Killyleagh Castle – Vikings, Sieges, a Ghost and a Suspicious Death
    Killyleagh Castle dates back to 1180 with a stormy history involving Vikings, sieges, wars, suspicious deaths, divided houses and ghostly sightings.
    Killyleagh Castle & Gardens
  • September 16, 2022 : The Mystery of the Cave Hill Ghost
    Reported initially in 1913, the Cave Hill ghost proved a mystery and a source of fascination for years. What was the ghosts tale?
    The Ghost Appears
  • September 9, 2022 : Hy Brasil – The True Story of a Mythical Island
    An island off the coast of Ireland - seen by many over a thousand years until it vanished only to reappear every 7 years
    The Enchanted Island
  • September 2, 2022 : Rathlin Island – An Eventful History, Beautiful Scenery and Puffins!
    Rathlin Island, County Antrim is a short ferry journey from Ballycastle and offers a perfect escape from your everyday life.
    East Lighthouse
  • August 27, 2022 : From Lios na gCearrbhach to Lisburn – The Story of a City
    Lisburn Location The city of Lisburn sits on the river Lagan, the dividing line between Counties Antrim and Down. Situated in the barony of Massereene, less than 10 miles south-west of Belfast. The area has a long and varied history which is not widely known. “No town on the line […]
    Wallace Memorial in Castle Gardens
  • August 19, 2022 : Loughareema – The Vanishing Lake
    Loughareema – Now you see it now you don’t! Location Not far from the bustling seaside resort of Ballycastle in County Antrim is the beautiful lake of Loughareema. Some days the lake appears full of clear glistening water however, at other times it is a barren muddy basin, thus earning […]
    Loughareema image © Copyright horslips5 (Copyright under CC BY 2.0 Creative Commons 2.0)
  • August 12, 2022 : The Cave Hill, McArt’s Fort, Games & Thrones, the Sleeping Giant and more
    Besides the stunning views from McArt's Fort over Belfast, the Cave Hill has many other interesting tales to tell...
    The High Life
  • August 5, 2022 : The Opening of St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast
    St Peter’s Church On 29th June 1986, St Peter’s Church in the lower Falls district of west Belfast, was officially designated the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Down and Connor. The church had opened on 14th October 1866, with its iconic twin spires being added 20 years later. Over […]
    St Peter's Pipe Organ and Stained Glass
  • July 29, 2022 : Kelly’s Cellars – Step Back in Time in this Old Belfast Pub
    Kelly's Cellars is one of Belfast's oldest & most popular pubs having first opened it's doors to the public over 300 years ago.
    Kelly's Cellars - 300 Years of Tradition
  • July 22, 2022 : Belfast’s Extraordinary Inventor – Samuel Davidson (Sirocco Works)
    Samuel Davidson, founder of Belfast's Sirocco Works, deserves recognition for his innovative genius in engineering and other fields.
    Sirocco site with H&W cranes in the background
  • July 15, 2022 : Kinbane Castle – A Hidden Gem on County Antrim’s Coast
    Kinbane Castle, County Antrim, stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into the wild Atlantic Ocean in a magnificent setting.
    First Glimpse - Kinbane on the Rocks
  • July 8, 2022 : Betsy Gray and the Battle of Ballynahinch
    Betsy Gray's role in the Battle of Ballynahinch was courageous and principled. Through her bravery she became known as ‘Ulster’s Joan of Arc’.
    Betsy Gray on horse
  • July 1, 2022 : Templecorran, Ballycarry – Churches, Rebellion and Poetry
    Templecorran Church, Ballycarry offers a fascinating insight into local history - an early monastery, Plantation, Rebellion and Poetry
    Templecorran Church Interior
  • June 17, 2022 : Elizabeth Gould Bell – A Forgotten Heroine
    Elizabeth Gould Bell should be remembered for her support for the poor and sick and her commitment to the ‘votes for women’ campaign.
    Crumlin Road Jail - Black & White
  • June 3, 2022 : Belfast’s Donegall Place and the Imperial Hotel
    The Imperial Hotel - “no establishment in the city of Belfast is so well known in all quarters of the globe as the Imperial Hotel”   
    Godkin & Walker 1871 - Belfast Imperial Hotel - Public Domain
  • May 27, 2022 : Olderfleet Castle, Larne – Vikings, Invasion & Rebellion
    On the Antrim coast, just south of Larne Harbour, are the remains of Olderfleet Castle with a history featuring Vikings, Invasion, Rebellion
    Chaine Memorial
  • May 20, 2022 : Cairndhu House – Wealth, Charity, Dereliction & Hauntings
    Cairndhu House, now derelict, is an impressive building with pointed roofs & ornate ironwork harking back to a time of glamour & charity.
    Cairndhu Abandoned
  • May 16, 2022 : The Disappearance of Captain Francis Crozier – Frozen in Time
    Francis Crozier was an Arctic explorer of great skill & bravery. His disappearance with his ship & crew is a tragedy remembered to this day
    Captain Crozier - The Fateful Voyage (Banbridge Commemorative Artwork)
  • May 13, 2022 : Life Lessons – Proverbs, Wit and Wisdom from 1858
    A look at some proverbs, wit and wisdom from 1858. Some sayings are obviously dated but others still ring true today.
    At Work in the Fields
  • May 10, 2022 : Bonamargy Friary – War, Treasure & the Black Nun’s Ghost
    Minutes from Ballycastle beach, Bonamargy Friary's history involves rival clan battles, priceless manuscripts, buried treasure & a nun's ghost
    Approaching Bonamargy Friary
  • May 3, 2022 : Cushendun – Game of Thrones & an Iconic TV Series
    Situated in the Glens of Antrim, the picturesque village of Cushendun lies on the north coast. But what links it to two classic TV dramas?
    View over Cushendun
  • April 29, 2022 : Body Snatchers – Death, Resurrection Men… and Murder
    In 18th century Ireland body snatching was a real problem throughout the country. A variety of tactics were employed to deter the thieves...
    Dunegore Mort-House
  • April 24, 2022 : Belfast’s Theatre Royal – Built 3 Times, Destroyed 3 Times
    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
    Theatre Royal Belfast 1880
  • April 20, 2022 : Black Francis – The Highwayman of Fermanagh & Donegal
    Black Francis was a famous highwayman in the late eighteenth century. His daring exploits have long been the source of local folklore
    Clouds over Lough Erne
  • April 16, 2022 : The Fuldiew Deaths – Romance on the Stone
    A peaceful County Antrim bay at the village of Cushendun, a couple in love and a tragedy that reverberates to this day.
    Cushendun Twilight
  • April 13, 2022 : Crown Liquor Saloon – ‘One of the great bars of the world’
    The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast (est 1849) has been described as the finest example of Victorian Gothic décor to be found anywhere
    Behind the Bar
  • April 8, 2022 : The Inn, the Jailhouse and Robb’s Department Store, Belfast
    The surprising history of Robb's Department Store in Belfast's Castle Place includes a famous Belfast inn, a rebellion and a jailhouse.
    Robb's - Belfast Telegraph 6 Mar 1970
  • April 2, 2022 : Ardglass, County Down – Battles, Tower Houses and Herrings
    Ardglass is a peaceful little village 34 miles from Belfast with a picturesque harbour, a healthy fishing industry & a turbulent history
    Ardglass in harbour
  • March 29, 2022 : The Linen Hall Library-A History of Education, Philanthropy & Rebellion
    The Linen Hall Library grew from the Belfast Reading Society established in 1788. It's history embraces Learning, Philanthropy and Rebellion.
    Linen Hall bookshelves and window seats
  • March 25, 2022 : St Malachy’s Church – “Strangers will look with admiration”
    Saint Malachy's Church in Belfast is a Grade A listed building near the heart of the city noted for it's stunning design.
    The Altar and Felix Piccione paintings
  • March 19, 2022 : Nora’s Grave – A True Story of Love & Death
    The love story of Nora Tattersall & George Arthur and their tragic deaths on the Cavehill, County Antrim in 1890 resonates to this day
    Bodies Illustration at the scene Belfast Telegraph 13th March 1890
  • March 11, 2022 : Unusual Laws in Old Belfast 1613 – 1816
    A look at some of the laws & regulations of old Belfast Town that may appear very unusual or strange to modern eyes.
    Belfast Long Bridge crossed the River Lagan between 1688 and 1841
  • March 8, 2022 : Shankill Graveyard – A Fascinating History
    Shankill Graveyard has a fascinating 1,500 year history featuring St Patrick, plagues, famine, a bullaun stone & Resurrection Men
    Headstone and Trees
  • March 4, 2022 : A Walk on Carnmoney Hill, County Antrim
    Carnmoney Hill, 6 miles north of Belfast, rises to a height of 761ft allowing beautiful views over the city, shoreline and Belfast Lough.
    View towards Belfast
  • March 2, 2022 : Rules for a Happy Marriage – Published in 1858
    Marriage guidance for husband and wife, published in 1858, in the form of a dozen rules to ensure a happy marriage
    Wedding Rings
  • February 27, 2022 : The Prosecution of the Carnmoney Witch
    The true story of 'white witch' Mary Butters, her attempt to cure a bewitched cow and her subsequent prosecution in court.
    Bewitched Cow
  • February 22, 2022 : Ligoniel – The Village by the River
    Source of the Ligoniel River The Ligoniel River is not one of Belfast’s better known waterways but it did play an important role in the development of the northern outskirts of Belfast and in the town itself. Ligoniel River rises from a number of springs leaking through the peaty soil […]
    Ligoniel Village Sign
  • February 16, 2022 : Sinclair Kelburn – The Tale of the Minister with a Musket
    Rev Sinclair Kelburn was blessed with a strong social conscience and became involved with the reforming movement within the city of Belfast.
    Pews & Musket
  • February 11, 2022 : The story of Ormeau Park and it’s ‘Lost’ Mansion
    Ormeau Park in the South East of Belfast was the city’s first public park. The park's history tells of wealth and waste and a "lost" Mansion.
    Ormeau Flower beds
  • February 6, 2022 : The Forgotten Town of Coole & the Church of the Holy Evangelists
    The story of Coole parish includes a forgotten town, supernatural pacts, philanthropy & the history of the Church of the Holy Evangelists
    Church of the Holy Evangelists from the graveyard
  • February 2, 2022 : James Haddock – The Ghost Who Gave Evidence in Court
    The strange tale of James Haddock, a man who died in 1657 but whose ghost returned subsequently to give evidence in Carrickfergus Court
    Courtroom scene
  • January 31, 2022 : The Story of Saint Brigid
    1st February is the feast day of St Brigid of Ireland. This early Irish saint is renowned for her kindness, learning and sanctity.
    Stained glass window ( 1934 ) showing Saint Bride ( Brigid of Kildare ) at St Davids, Wales - Close up
  • January 24, 2022 : Waring Street Belfast – From Early days to the Merchant Hotel
    Belfast's Waring Street has a rich history with links to sea trade, ceramics, and Gulliver's Travels. It now hosts the opulent Merchant Hotel
    The Merchant lit by lanterns
  • January 18, 2022 : Ballymacarrett – From a Rural Village to a Shipbuilding Giant
    A history of Ballymacarrett from it's rural beginnings, to a small village and subsequent emergence as a hub of Belfast industry & enterprise
    H&W Crane
  • January 13, 2022 : Castle Robin – From a Bronze Age Rath to a Motte and Castle
    The history of the Castle Robin site in the townland of Mullaghglass dates back to the Bronze Age and features a rath, a motte and a castle
    Castle Robin remains
  • January 9, 2022 : Friendly Advice – Do not keep a cow in the house longer than a year
    Catherine Alexander's book "Friendly Advice to Irish Mothers on Training their Children" (1839) aims to educate mothers on parenting
    Cow in House - Friendly Advice
  • January 1, 2022 : Hannahstown & it’s Church on the Hill – A Turbulent History
    A brief history of Hannahstown, it's Church and the turbulent times endured by the people of the parish.
    View from the front of Hannahstown Church
  • 2021
  • December 22, 2021 : Ann Street, Belfast – The Early Days
    Ann Street, one of Belfast's oldest streets, has seen the modern city of Belfast grow from a small village on the banks of the River Farset
    Riddel's Warehouse Ann Street
  • December 15, 2021 : The Three Presbyterian Churches of Rosemary Street, Belfast
    The First Presbyterian Church built in 1695 is the oldest surviving church in the Belfast with an eventful history
    Church view from the balcony
  • December 12, 2021 : The Games Children Played
    Growing up in Belfast decades ago, children usually played out in the streets given the chance. These are some of the games we remember.
    Chasing games
  • December 8, 2021 : Michael Andrews – Champion of the Poor, the Working Classes & the Disabled
    Michael Andrews should also be remembered for his philanthropy and concern for the all of inhabitants of Belfast.
    Millie, the mill worker
  • December 4, 2021 : A Belfast Christmas Walk – December 2021
    A Christmas walk around Belfast to sample the festive atmosphere at this special time of year. Plenty of photos to see.
    Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall
  • November 30, 2021 : The Life & Art of Frank McKelvey
    Belfast's Frank McKelvey is famous for rural landscapes of the north of Ireland, in particular the Lagan Valley, Bessbrook, Armagh & Donegal
    Feeding Swans on the Lagan - Frank McKelvey
  • November 24, 2021 : Belfast Sea Sculptures – Celebrating our maritime history
    Belfast features a range of sea sculptures in commemoration of it's maritime history. A number of these sculptures are presented in this post
    Titanica Sculpture
  • November 20, 2021 : Old Banagher Church and the Last Dragon in Ireland
    Today Banagher old church stands quietly on its grassy drumlin. Its stories of saints, dragons, outlaws and holy sand are all but forgotten.
    Dragon - Lig na Paiste
  • November 17, 2021 : Shipwreck! The Story of the Girona
    The Girona story covers the Spanish Armada of 1588, war at sea, nature unleased and death. Only the Girona treasures remain.
    Girona shipwreck (Unknown artist-engraver. Possible re-publication of a plate first issued in 1888 - Wikipedia)
  • November 13, 2021 : Ardoyne – The Story of a Village
    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.
    Mill chimney - a common sight in Belfast
  • November 9, 2021 : Pottinger’s Entry – One of Belfast’s oldest streets
    The small alleys known as "the entries" are at the heart of historic Belfast. Pottinger's Entry is one of the best known.
    Pottinger's Entry Sign
  • November 5, 2021 : Shane Crossagh – The Outlaw of the Glen
    The fact that the name of Shane Crossagh remains synonymous with bravery and justice reflects his popularity in those most dangerous times.
    Glenshane view - Autumn colour
  • October 31, 2021 : Thomas McCabe – Champion of the Poor & the enslaved
    Background Thomas McCabe was born in Lurgan in 1739. He was the son of Patrick McCabe, a watch-maker, and Mary Maziere. Mary was born of French parents Samuel de la Maziere and Jeanne Vallee. Samuel was a jeweller. Thomas was the eldest of four boys Thomas, William, John and James. […]
    Chains image
  • October 27, 2021 : Saint Joseph’s Church – The Chapel on the Quays
    St Joseph’s Church is the heart of Sailortown, an area that endured more than its fair share of hardship. It serves the community to this day
    St Joseph's from the port
  • October 23, 2021 : North Street, Belfast – From the Ashes?
    North Street, Belfast was originally known as Goose Lane, as farmers would drive their geese through the town and out the North Gate
    Alhambra Theatre, North Street, Belfast. Photo taken from Lower Garfield Street. c1954 (Courtesy of Northern Ireland Historical Photograhical Society on Facebook)
  • October 19, 2021 : Roughfort, County Antrim – A Tale of Dolmens and Dragoons
    Roughfort, Co Antrim, has 3 historic sites close to each other - a Bronze Age passage grave, a Norman motte and a 200+yo Liberty Tree
    Roughfort Liberty Tree
  • October 12, 2021 : The Crosskeys Inn – Ireland’s Oldest Thatched Public House
    County Antrim's Crosskeys Inn is the oldest thatched public house in Ireland and offers a truly authentic traditional Irish pub experience.
    Front of Crosskeys
  • October 9, 2021 : Layde – County Antrim’s Hidden Church
    Layde Old Church is a place of history and peace. Its scenic hidden glen, sparkling stream and sea views make it incredibly beautiful.
    Layde Church & Graveyard
  • October 5, 2021 : Cantrell & Cochrane – From Belfast’s Castle Place to a Global Brand
    Cantrell & Cochrane , now the world famous C&C brand, started out in a small shopfront on Castle Place, Belfast - the Ulster Medical Hall
    Cantrell and Cochrane Advert 1877
  • September 30, 2021 : Galboly – The County Antrim Village Lost in Time
    In the picturesque glens of Antrim lies the abandoned village of Galboly. Hidden from view, its derelict cottage ruins recall a bygone age.
    Galboly cottage view
  • September 28, 2021 : Mahee Castle – A Fortified Tower House at Strangford Lough
    Mahee Castle, built 1570, is actually the ruins of a fortified tower house on Mahee Island - one of the larger islands in Strangford Lough.
    Mahee Castle
  • September 23, 2021 : St Nicholas Church, Carrickfergus
    St Nicholas Church has a fascinating history dating back to 1182AD with great architecture & design, beautiful windows and historic artefacts
    Interior aisle & altar view
  • September 20, 2021 : The Tale of Luke White and Biddy Farrelly
    The story of Luke White & Biddy Farrelly has it all – rags to riches, thwarted love, broken hearts and a ghost that walks Belfast's streets.
    Biddy Farrelly's Cafe on Gresham Street
  • September 17, 2021 : Who Remembers Arnott’s Department Store, Belfast?
    Arnott's was a well-known and respected shop in Belfast city centre. It closed on 17th August 1974 after 137 years of trading.
    Arnotts on Bridge Street and High Street today
  • September 14, 2021 : The Crumlin Meteorite
    On 13th September 1902 a meteorite fell to earth at a farm near Crumlin, about 12 miles from Belfast. It didn't remain for long.
    Daylight Meteor
  • September 12, 2021 : Nendrum – An ancient Monastery with the oldest tide-mill in the world
    Nendrum Monastery's long history features St Patrick, Viking attacks, settlement by Benedictine monks and the world's oldest tide-mill
    Nendrum Church ruins
  • September 10, 2021 : The Last Witch Trial in Ireland
    The last witch trial in Ireland that reached a verdict took place in March 1711 at the Old Courthouse in Carrickfergus.
    The Stocks at Purity Lane
  • September 7, 2021 : James McDonnell – The Father of Belfast Medicine
    James McDonnell MD devoted his time and eminent talents to the work of humanity in delivering medical services to Belfast's poor
    James McDonnell Memorial at the Church
  • September 3, 2021 : Belfast Walk – Sailortown, Lagan side and Clarendon Dock
    A walk with Scotty around Belfast's Sailortown, the Lagan side, the Big Fish, Queen's Square and Clarendon Dock
    Rotterdam Bar - derelict
  • August 31, 2021 : Galloper Thompson – Belfast’s Phantom Horseman
    A famous resident of north Belfast is Gordon Thompson, better known as Galloper Thompson, the phantom horseman!
    Galloper Thompson
  • August 24, 2021 : Sugarhouse Entry – Belfast’s Forgotten Lane with a past
    Sugarhouse Entry enjoyed a long and varied history from the late 1600s until its eventual destruction in the World War 2 blitz
    Sugarhouse Entry - The Bambridge Hotel
  • August 19, 2021 : Saint Patrick’s Church – One of Belfast’s Landmark Churches
    Opening originally in 1815 and rebuilt in 1877, Saint Patrick's Church in Donegall Street Belfast remains one of Belfast's landmark buildings
    Saint Patrick's Church - interior view
  • August 16, 2021 : The Giant’s Ring – A Neolithic Mystery
    The Giant’s Ring is a Neolithic henge monument pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids. It is situated only 4 miles from Belfast city centre.
    Giant's Ring View from the perimeter wall
  • August 13, 2021 : Have you seen Charlie Chaplin on Joy Street, Belfast?
    Joy Street is one of the best surviving examples of Georgian architecture in the heart of Belfast with a historic link to Charlie Chaplin
    Joy Street sign
  • August 10, 2021 : Bang Beggars, Vulcans and other old Irish Occupations
    Historical official records & documents sometimes refer to long-forgotten old Irish occupations. We list some of the more unusual.
    Ewarts Linen Factory Belfast
  • August 7, 2021 : How a Belfast Company helped defeat a killer disease
    The story of one Belfast company's contribution to the fight on the twin challenges of scurvy and food poverty.
    Edwards Desicatted Soup advert
  • August 3, 2021 : Rosamond Praeger – Holywood’s trail-blazing Artist/ Sculptress
    Sophia Rosamond Praeger, born on 17/4/1867, in the town of Holywood near Belfast was destined to become a trail-blazing artist & sculptress
    Rosamond Praeger
  • July 29, 2021 : Ireland’s Great Hurricane of 1839 – “The Big Wind”
    In 1839, Ireland was hit by a hurricane that caused devastation throughout the country. Nothing before or since comes close to the "Big Wind"
  • July 26, 2021 : Sinclair Seamen’s Presbyterian Church – A Remarkable Belfast Church
    Sinclair Seamen’s Presbyterian Church opened in the Belfast docklands (1857) to provide religious services to visiting sailors & local inhabitants.
    Sailing home
  • July 23, 2021 : The War Goddess of Boa Island
    The Caldragh Cemetery on Fermanagh's Boa Island is home to two ancient statues. One is ‘Badha’ - the Celtic Goddess of War or ‘battle fury’
    Caldragh Graveyard
  • July 19, 2021 : Ballygally Castle Hotel and it’s Ghost Room
    A history of the Ballygally Castle Hotel situated in the village of Ballygally on the Antrim coast road with views over the Irish Sea.
    Ballygally Castle Hotel
  • July 14, 2021 : Naoise O’Haughan, Antrim’s “Gentleman Outlaw”
    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
    Three Sisters Gallows
  • July 11, 2021 : Queen’s Arcade – The last remaining Victorian Shopping Arcade in Belfast.
    Queen’s Arcade, constructed in 1880, is the last remaining Victorian Arcade still open in the city of Belfast.
    Queen's Arcade Interior
  • July 9, 2021 : Belfast – A walk around the Queen’s Quarter
    A walk around Belfast's Queen's Quarter - this is the area around Queen's University Belfast and the neighbouring Botanic Gardens
    Botanic Avenue scene
  • July 5, 2021 : Dundrum Castle, the village and the beaching of a famous ship
    Dundrum Castle is built on a hill looking south over the Bay of Dundrum, west towards Slieve Croob and east over the plains of Lecale.
    Blundell House view
  • June 30, 2021 : The Dark Hedges
    The Dark Hedges refers to the Bregagh Road (Co Antrim) flanked with beech trees arching overhead to create an atmospheric verdant tunnel.
    Dark Hedges sign
  • June 27, 2021 : The Holy Well of Saint Olcan – Every Tatter Tells a Story
    The story of Saint Olcan and his Holy Well - for centuries a source of hope to pilgrims and those suffering. Every rag holds someone's pain
    Holy Well View
  • June 23, 2021 : The Story of Belfast City Cemetery
    The Belfast City Cemetery was opened in 1869 by Belfast Corporation. Nearly a quarter of a million people are buried in this tranquil place
    Belfast City Cemetery Hillside View
  • June 18, 2021 : Dunseverick Castle, The Causeway Coast – Saint Patrick, The Vikings, Crusades and Destruction
    Dunseverick Castle, now in ruins, was one of the key sites of ancient Ireland being situated on one of the five royal roads.
    Dunseverick illustration
  • June 15, 2021 : Vere Foster – One of the greatest men you’ve never heard of
    Vere Foster contributed enormously to Ireland's famine relief, emigration support, charity, health & education only to die forgotten and poor
    Vere Foster Grave Inscription
  • June 13, 2021 : Sir John Lavery – The Belfast Painter of Peace and War
    It is a tribute to John Lavery’s talent that he was to rise from the humblest of beginnings in Belfast to become a world famous artist
    John Lavery - A Summer Afternoon
  • June 10, 2021 : Sherlock Holmes and the Ulster Tailor
    Sherlock Holmes is arguably the smartest fictional detective in literature but what connects him to real life Ulster tailor, John McGee?
    Sherlock Holmes
  • June 7, 2021 : Have you heard the ‘singing sands’ of White Park Bay?
    White Park Bay on the North Coast of Antrim between the fishing villages of Ballintoy and Portbraddon is noted for its 'singing sands'
    White Park Bay path
  • June 5, 2021 : Bushmills – Whiskey from the oldest licensed distillery in the world
    King James 1 granted a royal license to make whiskey at Bushmills in April 1608. Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in the world
    Black Bush
  • June 2, 2021 : The Holestone of Doagh – A History of Mystery & Marriage
    On a rocky outcrop near Doagh, County Antrim is the Celtic standing stone, known as the Holestone - a place of significance for millennia.
    The Holestone outcrop
  • May 30, 2021 : From Bellevue Pleasure Gardens to Belfast Zoo
    Opening in 1911 as the Bellevue Pleasure Garden on the Cavehill overlooking Belfast Lough, Belfast Zoo continues to enchant new generations
    Red Panda smile
  • May 24, 2021 : The Dunville Family – Whiskey, charity, football and a Belfast Park
    The Dunville Family had an important impact on Belfast in terms of commerce (Whiskey), charitable works, sport and a popular Belfast Park
    Dunville Fountain
  • May 18, 2021 : A walk with spectacular views at the Knockagh Monument
    The Knockagh Monument, erected in memory of the fallen in WW1 and WW2 , offers spectacular views of Carrickfergus, Belfast and North Down.
    Circular cloud on Belfast Lough
  • May 16, 2021 : Anderson & McAuley Ltd, Belfast
    Anderson & McAuley Ltd was one of Belfast's iconic department stores for 133 years before closing its doors in 1994.
    Anderson & McAuley Ltd building
  • May 14, 2021 : George Benn – Historian and Philanthropist
    Anyone who reads George Benn’s History of Belfast will definitely agree with his appellation ‘the first great historian of Belfast’.
    George Benn Sign, Belfst City Cemetery
  • May 9, 2021 : St George’s Market – Belfast’s Victorian Market
    Built in 1890, the Victorian St George’s Market remains a thriving market and with over 300 traders. In 2019 it was named the UK’s Best Large Indoor Market.
    St George's Market bicycle & flowers
  • May 7, 2021 : The Farset – Belfast’s Hidden River
    The Farset gave Belfast its name (originally Béal Feirste, 'mouth of the sand-bank ford) and was at the heart of Belfast's industrial success.
  • May 4, 2021 : Clifton Street Cemetery – The New Burying Ground
    Clifton Street Cemetery - a historic burying ground with tales of the great and the good, of Cholera and Famine, poverty and of rebellion.
    Clifton Street Cemetery Gates
  • May 1, 2021 : Botanic Gardens Belfast – An Eventful History
    Botanic Gardens are popular public gardens located in South Belfast. Occupying 28 acres, the Botanic Gardens have an eventful history.
    Botanic Gardens Belfast - The Palm House and Flowerbeds
  • April 27, 2021 : O’Hanlon’s Belfast – Walks Among the Poor 1852
    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
    Public Domain - Poor
  • April 25, 2021 : Belfast Harbour Walk
    A beautiful day for a walk around Belfast Harbour & Marina with views of the Cave Hill, Belfast City and the Titanic Museum
    Titanic Museum Sign
  • April 23, 2021 : Francis Joseph Bigger, His Life and Times
    Francis Joseph Bigger was one of the foremost figures in the antiquarian, historical and literary life of Ulster
    Songs of Uladh, Francis Joseph Bigger
  • April 18, 2021 : Anyone remember Robinson & Cleaver?
    The Robinson & Cleaver store opened in 1888 as the Royal Irish Linen Warehouse. Now closed, this remains one of Belfast's iconic buildings
    Robinson & Cleaver Rooftop Shop Name
  • April 14, 2021 : Street Directories – a valuable source of family information
    Street Directories are a useful primary source of information on ancestors as they list householder names and occupations & other statistics.
    Advertisement - The Ladies Emporium
  • April 12, 2021 : Old Belfast Castles – What lies beneath our streets?
    A brief history of the castles built in Belfast over the centuries, the battles and ownership changes and the loss of Belfast Castle to fire.
    Castle Place Belfast 1612
  • April 7, 2021 : Belfast Waterworks – The Days of Mermaids, Monsters and Sea battles
    Belfast Waterworks was built in the 1830s to supply water to north Belfast. It is now a popular park with Cave Hill views.
    Belfast Waterworks - upper lake from central path
  • April 5, 2021 : Mallusk Burying Ground, County Antrim
    Mallusk Burying Ground is another old cemetery with a few tales to tell - featuring a wealth of history and information.
    Late afternoon at Mallusk Cemetery
  • March 31, 2021 : Visiting Belfast’s Oldest Pubs
    A look at some of Belfast's 'oldest' pubs in the city centre. People debate which is the oldest and which is the best. Try them yourself
    Scotty at the Dirty Onion
  • March 28, 2021 : Saint Mary’s Church, Belfast – An inspirational story
    The construction of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Belfast in 1784 with widespread Protestant support reflected the end of the Penal Laws
    Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Belfast - closer view
  • March 25, 2021 : The Cave Hill Diamond
    The legend of the diamond that could be seen glittering in the sunlight on the high slopes of the Cave Hill overlooking Belfast. What was it?
    The Cave Hill Diamond
  • March 24, 2021 : Newspaper Obituaries in Family Research
    Newspaper Obituaries can be very informative in genealogy detailing where a funeral takes place, the cemetery and surviving family members.
    Sample Obituary
  • March 22, 2021 : The Albert Memorial Clock – The leaning clock tower of Belfast
    Belfast's Albert Clock was constructed in 1869, in Queen's Square, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s late husband Albert who died in 1861.
    The Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast with the harbour in the background
  • March 19, 2021 : Harry Ferguson – Planes, Tractors and Formula 1
    Harry Ferguson was a pioneer - working on motorcycles, planes, tractors and Formula 1 racing. His ‘wee grey Fergie’ remains a legend!
    Ford Ferguson 9N tractor 1942
  • March 14, 2021 : Old Medical Terms in Irish Genealogy
    In researching your family tree you are likely to come across some medical terminology that seems odd to modern ears. Terms like Apoplexy, Corruption, Gravel, Idiot, Jail Fever and White Swelling seem baffling but have simply been updated as medical science improves.
    Old Medical Tools
  • March 13, 2021 : Saint Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint
    St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. A fifth century missionary, he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
    Saint Patrick
  • March 11, 2021 : Belfast’s “Big Fish” – the Salmon of Knowledge
    The Arts Council of N.I. commissioned "The Salmon of Knowledge" (AKA 'the Big Fish') to celebrate the regeneration of the Lagan River.
    Scotty at the Big Fish
  • March 9, 2021 : From Capello de Vado 1306AD to St George’s Church, Belfast
    St George's Church is a place of peace within Belfast’s city centre that visitors cherish, on a site used for worship since Capello de Vado
    St George's Church
  • March 7, 2021 : Carrickfergus Castle – A brief history
    Carrickfergus Castle is named for Fergus Mór, King of Dalriada (Dál Riata). His kingdom covered areas of north-east Ulster & western Scotland
    Carrickfergus Castle and sea
  • March 6, 2021 : Francis Calder – The Calder Fountain Memorial
    Francis Calder - Founder of the Belfast Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals . Calder Memorial Fountain erected 1859.
    Calder Fountain with apartments in background
  • March 5, 2021 : Valuation Revision Books in Ireland
    The Valuation Office Revision Books followed on from Griffiths Valuation and annually recorded the ownership and values of property from 1864 up until the early 1930’s
    Valuation Book page
  • March 4, 2021 : Researching Family Wills in Northern Ireland
    In tracking Northern Ireland family roots, a useful free website is the Public Records Of Northern Ireland online Wills search - PRONI Wills.
    Public Records Office Of Northern Ireland online will search logo
  • March 3, 2021 : Barney Hughes – The baker “beloved by the working classes”
    Barney Hughes will be remembered for his desire for social justice, his unstinting generosity and humanitarian reform, but also for the Belfast Bap
    Belfast Bap - from Rileys Home Bakery
  • March 2, 2021 : Catholic Parish Records Online
    In the 1950’s the National Library of Ireland began the work of microfilming Catholic parish registers of births and marriages. The partnership of library and Church hierarchy has ensured the permanent preservation of these invaluable genealogical records. The majority of parishes in the whole of Ireland are covered and the […]
    National Libraries Ireland Catholic Parish Website
  • March 1, 2021 : Edward Benn – Three Belfast Hospitals
    Edward Benn was born at Tandragee , County Armagh in the year 1798. His father was John Benn. As a boy Edward was educated at Belfast Academy, along with his younger brother George. The brothers moved to Downpatrick and set up a brewing business. Subsequently they bought an estate called […]
    Edward Benn
  • February 26, 2021 : Belfast Castle, Cave Hill, Belfast
    The first Belfast Castle was built by the Normans in Belfast city centre in the late 12th century. A second castle, made of stone and timber, was later constructed by Sir Arthur Chichester, Baron of Belfast, on the same site in 1611. This castle was subsequently destroyed with no existing traces outside […]
    Belfast Castle
  • February 24, 2021 : WW2 Normandy – Utah Beach
    WW2 Normandy and Utah Beach may be an unusual setting for Belfast Entries but we thought it would be worthwhile following up on Operation Overlord and deployment of some of those American troops based in Northern Ireland during World War 2 We’ve previously looked at the history of Brownlow House […]
    Utah Beach & Surrounds - Museum exhibits WW2 plane
  • February 22, 2021 : Brownlow HQ – Remembering World War 2
    We’ve previously looked at the wider history of Brownlow House, Lurgan and mentioned its role as the Headquarters of American troops stationed in Northern Ireland during World War 2. With the opening of the Brownlow HQ WW2 Exhibition in the basement of Brownlow House it is worthwhile visiting to learn […]
    Brownlow HQ Basement News updates
  • February 19, 2021 : Brownlow House Lurgan – A house, a dog & World War 2
    This striking mansion was built for Charles Brownlow M.P. in 1833, and designed by Edinburgh architect William Henry Playfair (1790 – 1857). Brownlow was made 1st Baron Lurgan in 1839 in thanks for his services to the Whig Party. Brownlow House, also known as Brownlow Castle and Lurgan Castle, is […]
    Brownlow House interior
  • February 17, 2021 : Rinty Monaghan – Belfast’s boxing hero
    John Joseph ‘Rinty’ Monaghan was born on 21 st August 1918 at 23 Lancaster Street in north Belfast. His father was Thomas Monaghan, a sailor, and his mother was Martha Wilson. He was the eldest of 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. Rinty attended the Christian Brothers school in […]
    Rinty Monaghan statue, Art College grounds, York Street
  • February 16, 2021 : Andrew Malcolm – Physician and Public Health Reformer
    Andrew George Malcolm was born in 1818. His father, of the same name, was a Presbyterian minister in Dunmurry and then Newry. His mother was Eleanor Hunter. Andrew was educated at Belfast Academical Institution and completed his medical training at Edinburgh, graduating in 1842. By 1843 Andrew Malcolm had returned […]
    A.G. Malcolm - Physician and Public Health Reformer
  • February 6, 2021 : Not On Today’s High Street
    If you walked along Belfast's streets a hundred years ago, you would have encountered a very different range of merchandise for sale.
    Castle Place,Belfast 1843 -By French artist Alphonse Dousseau. Note the First Bank Buildings in the background (initially known as Cunningham's Bank)
  • February 1, 2021 : Friar’s Bush Graveyard – A Fascinating History
    Friar’s Bush is Belfast’s oldest Christian burial site. The oldest legible headstone is of a Thomas Gibson who died in 1717.
    Friar's Bush Graveyard
  • January 31, 2021 : Otto Jaffe – Belfast’s First Jewish Lord Mayor
    Through his hard work and entrepreneurial skills, Otto Jaffe was one of the leading merchants responsible for the boom in the linen industry in Belfast.
    Jaffe Fountain, Victoria Square Belfast
  • January 29, 2021 : Clifton House – Belfast’s Poor House
    A history of Clifton House which opened on 17th September 1774 by the Belfast Charitable Society.
    Clifton House Entrance Gate
  • January 29, 2021 : Mary Ann McCracken -A remarkable woman
    Mary Ann McCracken was a philanthropist, feminist, humanitarian, nationalist radical born in Belfast on 8th July 1770.
    Mary Ann McCracken
  • January 25, 2021 : Thomas Andrews – A Titanic story
    Telegram - Interview with the Titanic officers. All unanimous that Thomas Andrews died a heroic death, thinking only of others safety.
    Titanic Belfast
  • January 22, 2021 : Frank Pantridge – the Father of Emergency Medicine
    Professor Pantridge is rightly regarded as the Father of Emergency Medicine and his invention was a genuine, life-saving breakthrough
    Frank PantridgeFrank Pantridge
  • January 20, 2021 : David Manson – Belfast’s Enlightened Schoolmaster
    David Manson In 1755 David Manson set up a school in Clugstons Entry in central Belfast, promising to teach “by way of Amusement, English Grammar, Reading and Spelling at a moderate Expense” Belfast News Letter Manson was to prove a figure of note in terms on education in Northern Ireland […]
    Image of blackboard
  • January 17, 2021 : Alexander Mitchell – The blind engineer with a vision
    Early life Alexander Mitchell was born on 13 th April 1780 in Dublin, but as a young child his family moved to Pine Hill, near Belfast. However, when his father William, died in 1790, the large family of 13 children were dispersed. Alexander and two his brothers, as the youngest, […]
    Belfast Lough Screwpile Lighthouse
  • January 10, 2021 : Belfast Streets with a Military Connection
    Alma Street Battle of the Alma River, 20th September 1854, during the Crimean War. Aughrim Street Battle of Aughrim, fought in Galway on 12th July 1691. Balaclava Street Battle of Balaclava, part of the siege of Sevastopol, 25th October 1854. Boyne Street Battle of the Boyne fought on 1st July […]
    Painting of the Battle of Alma by Horace Vernet
  • January 10, 2021 : Belfast Streets at the races
    Horse racing has always been popular in Ireland. Did you know that a number of our Belfast streets are named after horses?
  • January 10, 2021 : Squeeze Gut Entry and other old Belfast street names
    Crooked Lane This was a narrow street with a distinct ‘kink’ in its layout. It runs from Castle Street to Berry Street. With the opening of St. Mary’s, the first Catholic Church in Belfast in 1784, the street became known as Chapel Lane. Gooseberry Corner Gooseberry Corner off Claremont Street […]
    Belfast Street Names
  • January 3, 2021 : Belfast Street Art – Transforming City Streets
    Street Art has long featured on Northern Ireland walls. Now Belfast city centre has been enhanced with a range of sensational street paintings
    Belfast Street Art - Donegll Street Belfast 2
  • 2020
  • December 30, 2020 : Make use of free access to Irish Civil Records
    The process of tracing your family history can be expensive with many websites offering paid subscription-only services. Sites offering free access are always a good place to start tracing your family. The free online website is a great way to access Irish Civil Records.
    Irish geneology website image
  • December 30, 2020 : Using Griffith’s Valuation to find where people lived
    Griffith's Valuation is the primary valuation for Ireland. The valuation was conducted between 1848 – 1864. It's worth to Irish genealogists cannot be overestimated.
    Griffiths valuation website image
  • December 14, 2020 : Trace your ancestors in the Irish Census Records
    The census records are one of the most valuable resources for anyone starting to research their family history. Unfortunately only two complete census for Ireland survive - the 1901 Census taken 31st March 1901 and the 1911 Census taken 2nd April 1911
    Image of National Archives website
  • December 9, 2020 : Getting started on your family tree
    The easiest and quickest way way to discover your roots is to hire a professional genealogist. This is also expensive. In these posts, I will share my family research experiences as an amateur, but enthusiastic, researcher.
    Mother & Child - Public Domain

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