Burial registers for Clifton Street Cemetery were kept from 1831, recording a wealth of information on people at the time of their death. Of particular interest is ‘Black ’47’ the worst year of famine related deaths in Ireland. Belfast did not escape the affects of the Great Hunger.

On this day, 17th October 1847 the body of Mary Gunning was interred in the ‘New Burying Ground’, to give the cemetery it’s original name. Mary had died of fever at her home on Mays Lane, off Queen Street in Belfast. It would appear from the burial register that Mary was an enterprising woman. In an era of poor prospects for women outside of domestic service and the factories, Mary Gunning operated a “a House of Ill Fame” from her home!

If you would like to hear more about the darker side of the graveyard’s history, and of the famous and infamous characters buried there, then come along on our Hallowe’en Tours on 29th and 30th October.