Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866) was a social reformer, philanthropist and abolitionist who had family ties to the Poor House. Mary Ann was the niece of Robert and Henry Joy who designed and managed the lottery to fund its construction. Her father, Captain John McCracken, was on the Charitable Society’s Board, and Mary Ann later helped to found the Ladies Committee in the 1820s which she served on throughout its existence.

As such, Clifton House still holds a number of collections and artefacts relating to Mary Ann McCracken, some of which are on permanent display within the building. Throughout the year we would host dedicated talks and tours on the life of Mary Ann McCracken. We have a meeting space named after her within the building, and recently we have established the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation to continue to her philanthropic work in Belfast.

Find out more about our collections below