Monthly Archives: March 2016


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
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