skinner belfastAs Belfast continued to expand, the Belfast Charitable Society divided the town into ‘Poor Districts’ in 1809. These were administration areas, with each district assigned a dedicated member of the Committee to look after both admissions to the Poor House, as well as to enquire on individuals and families who requested outdoor relief.
The divisions, as set out below, show how small the town of Belfast was in the opening decade of the 19th century- how things changed over the next one hundred years!

Division 1
Donegall Place, South Parade, Castle Lane, Arthur Street, Donegall Square, Castle Street, Mill Street & Barrack Street.
Division 2
York Street, Donegall Street, Talbot Street, Academy Row, Mary Street, John Street, Grattan Street, Church Street, Mustard Street, William Street, James Street, Waring Street & Hill Street.
Division 3
High Street (South side) including the Quays and Lanes, Ann Street, Cornmarket, Church Lane, Princes Street, Malborough Street & Forest Lane.
Division 4
High Street (North side) including Quays and Lanes between Waring Street, Bridge Street, Rosemary Street, Hercules Street, Berry Street, Bank Street & Chapel Lane.

Some of these streets no longer exist, others have changed names and had their routes altered however, many are still recognisable and give a snapshot of Belfast in 1809 when the town was focused on High Street and the current ‘Cathedral Quarter’.