Did you know that the Poor House had it's own vegetable garden and farm? Belfast Charitable Society made the most of the land they owned around the Poor House to make it as self sufficient as possible. The vegetable garden was used to provide the essentials to feed our residents. However, it was common that a surplus was produced. Sometimes this would be sold for profit, but on 26th October 1811 the orderly suggested that the poor be allowed and extra portion of broth in the week rather than to selling the surplus at the market “where the profit made on them [...]
A brutal stabbing in 1810, which led to a Portuguese sailor being hanged near Carrickfergus, became a sensation of the time. His name was Antonio de Silva, a sailor on board an American ship in Belfast harbour. He allegedly stabbed to death a ship’s carpenter called Robert Morrison, near Prince’s Street, and was subsequently tried and convicted of the crime. The place of execution was a mile outside Carrickfergus, and the apparatus used for the execution consisted of three tall columns, with a cross-beam, to which the rope was attached. They were familiarly known as the ‘Three Sisters’, and stood directly [...]
On this day, 7th October, 1847 the body of an unknown child, found dead in the vicinity of Donegall Pass, was buried in Clifton Street Cemetery, following an inquest into the death. The 'Weekly Vindicator' reported on the proceedings in explicit detail: It appeared from the evidence, that two little boys had been going across the fields, when they discovered the body lying in the ditch without the slightest bit of covering on it. Dr. Aickin, who examined the body, stated, that it had been in such and advanced state of decomposition, that it was uttlerly impossible for him to say whether [...]
By the 1st October 1768 work was well and truly underway to source the materials required to begin construction of the Poor House which had been envisioned at the first meeting of Belfast Charitable 16 years previously. Offers came from various philanthropists, but on this day 1768 the Belfast Charitable Society wrote a letter to Mr Kennedy of Cultra, thanking him for granting them free liberty to quarry stone and sand from his estate. The quarries referred to in the letter can still be viewed at the Ulster Folk Museum at Cultra today.
This Halloween Week Clifton House will be hosting a special Halloween tour of Clifton Street Cemetery. Opened in 1797 as the 'New Burying Ground' there are many tales to be told here. Death, Tragedy & Betrayal focuses on the 'darker side' of the graveyard's history- from the infamous body snatchers which plagued the cemetery in its opening decades and the drastic actions taken to curb this lucrative trade, to the burial of murder victims, a runaway slave and mass burials during the Irish Potato Famine. Death, Tragedy & Betrayal: The Darker Side of Clifton Street Cemetery runs from 28th-31st October, starting at [...]