#Great Place North Belfast

Great Place North Belfast is a project of the North Belfast Heritage Cluster. It uses the unique built heritage and authentic character to deliver and support regeneration in this part of north Belfast. Working with fifteen heritage organisations the project features their historic buildings and sites stretching for one mile along Donegall Street, Clifton Street, the Crumlin Road and part of the Antrim Road.

North Belfast Heritage Cluster Members

The North Belfast Heritage Cluster aims to deliver heritage led regeneration through making use of the area’s authentic character to support economic and social development.

Belfast Cathedral

Donegal Street

Redeemer Central / Donegall Street Congregational Church

Donegal Street

St Patrick’s Church & Parochial House

Donegal Street

Frederick Street Quaker Meeting House

Frederick Street

Belfast Charitable Society - Clifton House

Clifton Street

Belfast Charitable Society: Clifton Street Cemetery

Clifton Street

Recent Projects

Redeemer Central Seed Fund: Portraits and Pictures

In March 2023 we posted about the history of Donegal Congregational Church. Whilst much of this work was completed using British newspaper archives and academic sources, the research was aided in the discovery of several old drawings of the site, depicting the church in its various stages. These drawings proved a great asset in our […]

St Patrick’s Church Seed Fund: The Braniff Tiles

Discovered in the bottom of a chicken coop by Father O’Niell, these tiles are the work of local artist Daniel Ignatius Braniff. DI Braniff was a stained glass artist, and examples of his work exist in St Patrick’s, St Stephen’s, Millfield and Belfast City Hall. Whilst incomplete, they are a great example of the work […]

We’re Hiring – Re-Creating a Great Place North Belfast

Subject to funding approval, we have two fantastic job opportunities available to work with us on the heritage regeneration project ‘Great Place North Belfast.’ Both post holders will work alongside the members of North Belfast Heritage Cluster and partner organisations for the duration of the four and a half year project. To apply, see relevant […]

“North Belfast Families- Their Stories”: The Condell Brothers

Last week, we looked at the Dornan family from Agnes Street. Their names appeared in the roll and register books for the Loyal Orange Lodge 1890. This lodge was originally chosen for research as there was a corresponding Roll of Honour displayed on the wall inside Belfast Orange Hall, remembering members who fought during the […]

“North Belfast Families-Their Stories”: The Dornans of Agnes Street.

As part of the Great Place North Belfast project the archive co-ordinator has been conducting genealogical research using archival material from members of the North Belfast Heritage Cluster. During the transcription of a roll and register, one family in particular stood out. This was the Dornan brothers, Samuel, William and George, who lived at 114 […]

The Marsh Brothers: Biscuit and Tin manufacturers.

Industrial heritage has often been focused on mechanical advancements, many of which acted as important cogs in British industry, and revolutionised how objects were made. Whilst the focus on machines of the industrial revolution is important, it often comes at the expense of the men, and women, behind the machines. Even when history focuses on […]

Messers Marsh & Co. Donegall Street Biscuit Makers.

North Belfast was once a place of proud industrial heritage however its history and identity has been eroded and erased through years of conflict and urban decay. The rubble strewn site at 140 Donegall Street is representative of this. Once an area of affluence, industry and worship, Donegall Street’s downturn in fortunes is symbolised by […]

Donegall Street: Cleanliness next to Godliness

The Donegall Street Bathhouse. Whilst the churches of north Belfast still pierce the skyline, as they have for centuries, the buildings which have surrounded them during their life have continuously changed with the times. Many old buildings still stand on Donegall Street, while others have been demolished. Progress and renewal is a key part of […]

The History of Donegall Street Congregational

At the turn of the 20th century, one could argue that the stretch of road between Carlisle Circus and Donegall Street represented the religious heart of Belfast. At one end, the imposing façade of St Anne’s, whilst the two spires of St Enoch’s and Carlisle Memorial towered over the city at the other.[1] The skyline […]

Back to Business

The North Belfast Heritage Cluster, a collection of 15 heritage sites across a one-mile radius, is unique in its authenticity and diversity. Through a four-year project, Great Place North Belfast (2018 – 2022), the Cluster saw the growing and important role in representing the stories of Belfast’s development; gaining more prominence and awareness as major […]

North Belfast Creative Hub Launches

Last week (24th February) cluster member St. Malachy’s College officially launched the North Belfast Creative Digital Hub. with funding from the Belfast Charitable Society and The James Kane Foundation. Around 50 guests attended the launch in February including principals and students from neighbouring schools, representatives from our funders, Belfast City Council, local authorities. The Creative […]

One Year of Great Place

Great Place Project – Another Busy Year

What a year! Today is officially the last day of our fourth year of this amazing project of the North Belfast Heritage Cluster. Through Great Place North Belfast, members of the Cluster, all fourteen of them, have been working hard to deliver and support regeneration using the unique built heritage and authentic character of this […]

Great Place/ Great People: Edward Benn

Edward Benn was born in County Armagh in 1798 but attended school in the Belfast Academy on Cliftonville Road. After moving to Downpatrick, Co Down, himself and his brother George operated a successful brewing business in the town. Testament to the success of the business was their later moving to the expansive Glenravel Estate outside […]

Great Place/ Great People: William Drennan

Drennan was born in Rosemary Street, Belfast in 1754 to an important Presbyterian family; his father was the Presbyterian Minister and political reformist Thomas Drennan. William followed in his father’s early footsteps by pursuing a medical degree in Scotland. Upon his return from Edinburgh University, William moved to Newry in 1872 to open his own […]

Great Place/ Great People: Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was born into a strongly nationalist family in Belfast, in 1879. Campbell attended school at St Malachy’s College in North Belfast where he exhibited a natural flair for English. However, after leaving school he became an apprentice to his father, as a road-building contractor. A ‘nervous illness’ that lasted a number of years […]

A King comes to Belfast!

Yesterday, the 13th of September, Belfast welcomed a royal visitor in the form of the newly crowned King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. Following their visit to the Royal Residence in Northern Ireland, at Hillsborough Castle, the couple made their way to St Annes Cathedral. Here, a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth took […]

Great Place Great People: William Bristow

  Reverend William Bristow was born in 1736 in Wiltshire, England but later made his name in Belfast. Bristow was an Anglican minister and the Vicar of St Anne’s Cathedral between 1772-1808. He was also elected as the Lord Mayor of Belfast between 1786–88, 1790–96, and 1798. As a result of these roles, Bristow became one […]

Inside St Patrick’s archives

Behind the doors of St Patrick’s archive is a wealth of historical materials and documents relating to the Church and Parish. From paper documents like St Patricks school registers and local maps to some slightly more ornate objects… A Monstrance is a vessel in which the consecrated host is held in the Catholic Church. The […]