‪#‎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 of cholera outbreaks or famine.
Like so many of the services offered by the Poor House, it was an essential task that no one else was willing to provide at the time – coffins for poor people were not a priority.