Yearly Archives: 2016


Mobile Volunteering Works Wonders for Local Charities


The Volunteer Now Mobile Volunteering Project, funded by the Belfast Charitable Society, through the Barbour Fund has helped to create 495 volunteer hours for various local charities across Northern Ireland. This project has given the charities access to additional support to produce or package promotional goods, count money or carry out minor administrative tasks which otherwise, due to limited resources, they simply could not have done themselves. Not only has the Mobile Volunteering Project assisted the charities but it has brought great benefit to the groups undertaking the volunteering. It has demonstrated that older people, no matter their circumstances and personal [...]

Mobile Volunteering Works Wonders for Local Charities2016-10-12T10:37:14+00:00

World Heritage Day


The International Day for Monuments and Sites(World Heritage Day) is held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles.  The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18 April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983. The aim is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation. For over a year now I have [...]

World Heritage Day2020-06-16T14:57:11+00:00

John Davis of Windsor


This John Davis Clock sits in the main hallway of Clifton House. We hadn't been sure how it had ended up in Clifton House. John Davis of Windsor was a multi-generational clock maker from Windsor and they were hugely successful clock-makers and locksmiths. The supplied locks and clocks to Eton College and Baylis House in Slough. They were very well regarded in their field of expertise.   The family tree is as follows: John Davis, grandfather (1650-1713) John Davis, father (1690 – 1762) John Davis, son (1722 -1801). This lineage of the same names makes it difficult to date our clock, [...]

John Davis of Windsor2020-06-16T14:57:25+00:00

Museum Week


‪#‎Museumweek‬ is a fantastic opportunity to explore the artefacts and documents we have at Clifton House. The New Burying Ground (Clifton Street Cemetery) had two benefits for the Poor House as it gave them somewhere to bury their dead and also provided a revenue from the plots which they sold. They were also able to make money from selling coffins. Some of the men of the Poor House were tasked with providing coffins for the residents of Belfast who otherwise would not have been able to afford them. In 1827 they made 336 coffins and these numbers were higher during times [...]

Museum Week2020-06-16T14:57:37+00:00

Architecture Museum Week


This week marks Museum Week with today specifically given over to architecture.  Clifton House opened in 1774 and has undergone many changes in an effort to keep it useful and relevant as the needs of its residents changed.   Coincidentally I will be spending the next few weeks cataloguing all the architectural drawings we hold relating to Clifton House.  The workmanship of the very early drawings is amazing and it is important to preserve these old drawings.  All the work being carried out is intended to preserve and where necessary conserve the draft drawings.  #ArchitectureMW

Architecture Museum Week2020-06-16T14:57:52+00:00

World Water Day 2016


Supplying water to Belfast was fraught with difficulties. One of the most difficult was Lord Donegall withdrawing permissions to use some of the springs which were on his land (he own the majority of Belfast at this time.) On 29th April 1837 the Society wrote this extremely apologetic letter to his Lordship in an effort to persuade him to change his mind and allow the springs to be used for the good of Belfast. "I am deputed by the Committee of the Belfast Charitable Society to express the great pain they have felt at receiving your Lordship's letter on the 24th [...]

World Water Day 20162020-06-16T14:58:03+00:00

The Matter of the Missing Minutes


I have been doing some work this week looking at the links between the Belfast Charitable Society and the Belfast Chamber of Commerce of which there are many. One of the most surprising things I found relates to missing information. There has been great debate over many years about the "missing" Minute Books belonging to the Belfast Charitable Society which would have covered the period of the 1798 Rebellion. Our Minute Books finish in 1794 and recommence in 1800. It is not known whether another volume ever existed, or it was purposely removed or accidentally destroyed. Despite all of my searching [...]

The Matter of the Missing Minutes2020-06-16T14:58:20+00:00

Mary Ann McCracken And The Poor House


Here is a taster of the event held in Clifton House to celebrate International Women's Day 2016. The Ladies Committee was set up on March 1824.  The initial Minutes made the following statement; “The Ladies forming this Committee respectfully submit this proposal, to the Committee of Gentlemen, in the hope of obtaining their approbation and support to enable them to effect their object; And beg most earnestly to assure them, that there shall be no interference whatever with any of their managements and regulations.” I'm sure they meant it at the time. The ladies worked diligently and assisted the men’s committee [...]

Mary Ann McCracken And The Poor House2020-06-16T14:58:36+00:00

Mary Ann McCracken & The Poor House


International Women's Day 2016 We are holding a presentation next Tuesday 8th March at 11.00am with tea, coffee and scones looking at Mary Ann McCracken and her significant role in caring for the children of the Poor House. The presentation will be delivered by Louise Canavan, the Society’s Archivist and will last for around one hour allowing you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the presentation. Places are free but limited so please advise us if you or your group are able to attend and any access requirements you may have. RSVP by 5pm Thursday 3 March 2016 to

Mary Ann McCracken & The Poor House2020-06-16T14:58:51+00:00

International Women’s Day 2016


We are currently organising an event to coincide with International Women's Day on 8th March 2016.  Women were very important to the running of Belfast Poor House, whether it was Mrs Corruthers, who was a Superintendent or Mary Anne McCracken who was a member of the Ladies Committee.  The women who came to the House as residents or to work at the House were vital and made exceptional contributions to the welfare of  all the residents especially the children.  Our event will take a look at some of the women who played their role in the running of Belfast Poor House.

International Women’s Day 20162020-06-16T14:59:04+00:00
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