Clifton Street Cemetery was opened in 1797 by Belfast Charitable Society as the city’s main burial ground. Now managed by Belfast City Council, the graveyard is widely recognised as an historically significant site, with strong links to Clifton House and the Society who originally opened it. It is estimated that 14,000-16,000 people lie buried in the cemetery. Many of them rest in the ‘Poors Ground’, which contains one of Ireland’s largest Famine graveyards, whilst only a few yards away is the burial plots for some of the city’s wealthiest families and the graves of many of United Irishmen leaders.
It is also the resting place of many notable families, including the McCracken, Joy and Drennan families and is home to the mausoleum erected by John Dunville who established the famous whiskey brand. There is also a memorial to George C Hyndman, a member of the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society which helped establish Botanic Gardens in 1828.
Most significantly however, it is the final resting place of local reformers and activist Mary Ann McCracken, who played such a pivotal role within Clifton House itself.
Public tours of the cemetery are regularly available through Clifton House.