Due to Covid-19 tours of Clifton House have been temporarily postponed. However our Clifton St Cemetery Tours and Online Talks are currently available to book, and our conference facilities are open for socially distanced bookings. To keep up to date with all our latest news, please follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Georgian Elegance In The Heart Of The City

Belfast’s Original Historic Meeting Venue

Donate to Belfast Charitable Society

About Clifton House

Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used until the late 1880s as Belfast’s Poor House.  It was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people and is now a unique event venue.

Combining Georgian elegance and a city centre location, Clifton House offers an impressive space for a wide range of events including meetings, exhibitions, AGMs, workshops, conferences, dinner and receptions.

Many of Northern Ireland’s leading public and private sector organisations have used Clifton House for events and our in-house staff will work closely with you to ensure a successful and professional event.

Facilities include car parking, a range of catering options and wireless internet. Guests can also learn about the history of this fascinating building through our interpretative centre which features a large collection of antiques and artefacts, some dating back to 1774 when the Poor House was first opened.

For further information or to request a tour of the event venue, please contact Lucy Fraser on 028 9099 7022 or email lucy@cliftonbelfast.org.uk

History – The Belfast Charitable Society

The Belfast Charitable Society was founded in August 1752 in a tavern called The George Inn on the corner of North Street and John Street, Belfast. The newly formed Society was made up of a group of leading Belfast citizens who played a key role in the development of Belfast and were at the forefront of providing welfare for its people.

At the time, the care for the poor of Belfast was left to public-spirited citizens to do what they could and the Society was the driving force behind the Belfast Poor House.

The Belfast Charitable Society would go on to be responsible for the origins of social welfare, funeral services and municipal burial grounds, Belfast’s first hospital, the provision of clean water and the creation of a fledgling police service.  The Poor House, later Clifton House, has served Belfast for almost 250 years providing help and shelter to the residents of the town.

Today Clifton House is one of the finest surviving pieces of Georgian Belfast.

Clifton House #4 270515WC3_477 Graveyard 2

Clifton House as a Venue

We host many events in Clifton House including seminars, conferences, wedding receptions, intimate poetry readings and fine dining.

Book a room at Clifton House

Clifton House & Clifton Street Cemetery Tours

There is no better starting point for the discovery of Belfast City’s Modern 17th Century origins than Clifton House.

Take our tour to discover the “honourable history” of the Belfast Charitable Society and the Poor House which opened in 1774.

We are the oldest continuously occupied building in Belfast and have artefacts that link back to Belfast’s earliest days as a corporation.

Hear the stories of past public spirited citizens without whom, Belfast would not have become the city it is today.

Tours available Monday – Friday at 3.00pm during July & August.

Girl & Bell                  Interpretative Boards                   PEYE 170615KB2 0025


Prior booking is not necessary, but to avoid disappointment please book in advance. Private tours available by appointment and the venue is also available for commercial and private hire.  In-house catering is also available. 

Book a tour at Clifton House



Client Reviews:  Read what some of our clients have to say

“We really enjoyed the event at Clifton House, the venue itself, staff and food were all excellent”
Lynsey McCloskey, Business Development Manager, Tidy Northern Ireland
“Many thanks for your kind hospitality today, we hope to use your historic premises again”
Ian Elliott, Chief Executive, Oaklee Housing Association
“It is entirely fitting that the Conservation Training Course is based in one of the earliest buildings in Belfast. The aesthetic charm of using a historic building is very much appreciated by the participants and visiting lectures”
Jill Kerry, Conservation Architect Royal Society of Ulster Architects
Clifton House is a lovely venue with extremely helpful and pleasant staff. I would highly recommend it for meetings and events.
David Mahaffy, Bryson Care
Just a brief note to thank the staff at Clifton House for their assistance and hospitality. We received first class treatment, and the venue was ideal for our purposes.

John Maguire, Royal Irish Academy
On behalf of the Carryduff Historical Society I would like to thank you once again for giving us such an excellent and informative tour on Monday night. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and we all came away with a completely new outlook on such an iconic building and cemetery.
Gordon Hunt, Carryduff Historical Society
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for organising yesterdays event; the catering and organisation was superb as always and made our life a lot easier on the day. So very many thanks and I look forward to our next foray to Clifton House
Renee Quinn, Chief Executives Forum
Lucy and the rest of the Clifton House team were extremely helpful throughout all stages of the planning and hosting of the event and as a result the day ran really smoothly. Louise gave a very interesting and informative introductory presentation on Clifton House and its history which set the context for our event perfectly
Christopher Mills, Department of Communities, Life Opportunities Branch
Just a quick line to say thank you so much for having us as part of our Vintage car run at Clifton House last Saturday. The scones etc were very tasty & Aaron did a great job of the wee tour. Enjoyed by all.
Richard Gregory, Banbridge Old Vehicle Club
Outstanding service in a truly unique setting, many thanks to Lucy and the team for ensuring our event went flawlessly.
Anna McDaid, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - Northern Ireland
My sister and I had the pleasure of taking the tour of Clifton House and graveyard on Friday 25th August. Please pass on our thanks to the guide – Aaron. Wonderful and educational. Filled with enthusiasm and knowledge. Has inspired me to discover more- and I consider myself quite a “history buff”!! Thank you once more
Shirley McMillan, Visitor to Clifton House & Clifton Street Cemetery
Very many thanks for your presentation to Newtownabbey Probus Club today. The feedback from the members has been excellent and I have no doubt that all our members found the talk very informative and interesting. Many thanks again.
Ian Finaly, Newtownabbey Probus Club
What a wonderful day we had at Clifton House and I speak on behalf of all who were fortunate to attend. All arrangements worked out admirably. Please pass on our thanks to the Catering team for the part that they played. Also to Aaron. What a gem you have in him as you would have witnessed. I can see another tour to Clifton House in the New Year.
Ken Canavan, Causeway Coast U3A
Went on this tour and very glad we did. Great presentation with insights about social care, philanthropy, health, politics and religion, architecture and lots of stories. Important part of Belfast’s history. Thanks for keeping it alive. For visitors and locals alike.
Peter Corry, Visitor from Leeds
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for all the hard work and effort you put in to making our workshop such a success. It was a pleasure to work with you and nothing seemed to be too much trouble even though there were some last minute requests.
Everything was arranged just as we requested and the catering was excellent.
Please pass on our thanks to the rest of your team for looking after us so well throughout the day and for giving us a short talk on the history of the building.
We received a lot of positive feedback about the venue and I am sure you will see us again in the near future.
Gillian McIntyre, Department for Infrastructure
Many thanks for the excellent care and professional service provided by yourself and other staff during the Urban Villages business planning session which took place yesterday at Clifton House. The whole event ran very smoothly thanks to yourselves and I very much appreciate the small adjustments you kindly facilitated at very short notice, such as tea & coffee on arrival and the provision on scones. There has been very positive feedback from those attending and on a personal note, as a first-timer to Clifton House, I was very impressed with the whole set-up.
Paul Stitt, The Urban Villages Initiative, Northern Ireland Executive
I just wanted to re-emphasise how much we enjoyed our fabulous lunch and AGM with you. We have been recommending Clifton House everywhere we go, and we will always be grateful for your kindness and warm hospitality to us. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful day for us.
Dr Anne Bailie, Northern Ireland Association of Churchill Fellows
Just to pass on the thanks of the MSH management committee for all of Lucy’s help with Saturday. This is the first that they have engaged with a full off site day and it went like clockwork with the tea and coffee fairies keeping everyone supplied. Nothing was a trouble and that was greatly appreciated.
Geraldine Fahy, Not Just for Governance
Many thanks for your help with our Board Meeting and the tour yesterday. The building is spectacular – it was my first visit but I’ll definitely be back.
Haether Lawless, Lagan Navigation Trust
Just a quick note to thank you for the great reception that we had at Clifton House last week. It was just the right combination of informative and fun – Aaron was a stellar guide. The canapes were beautiful! Food art! Everyone enjoyed themselves and there was a real buzz.
Dr Gillian Almond, Queens University Belfast
Just a quick thank you for yesterday, all went very smoothly for our Board planning Day
Julie McAllister, Belfast Healthy Cities
Clifton House and its staff were absolutely exceptional in every conceivable way. Extremely flexible, proactive, understanding and helpful. Couldn’t recommend enough and will definitely use them again
Rachael Stevenson-Reynolds, Queens University Belfast
Thank you and Gerard for all your help on Saturday. You were both so kind and attentive. We were delighted by the arrangements. All our attendees commented on the wonderful venue.
Thank you again.
Sylvia McCracken, Calling Women's Association