General information

Tales of the Poor House

Throughout July and August, Clifton House will take visitors on a journey as far back as 1774, through rebellions and revolutions, births and deaths.

The history of Belfast begins at Clifton House. Established as Belfast’s Poor House in 1774 by the famous Joy and McCracken families, thousands of people, young and old, local citizens and passing sailors, all sought sanctuary within its walls. Set up by the philanthropic merchants of the town, the Belfast Charitable Society and its home in Clifton House, has survived rebellions and revolutions, while looking after the welfare of the people of the city.

Labelled as radicals themselves, these inspirational individuals challenged eighteenth century beliefs on slavery, reform and society, spearheading rebellion for change. Today, over 260 years later, the Belfast Charitable Society continues to tackle disadvantage, by using proceeds from tour admissions to support those in greatest need. You are part of the next chapter!

Every Friday the house tour also includes a visit to Clifton Street Cemetery. The final resting place of radicals including Mary Ann and Henry Joy McCracken, Thomas McCabe & William Drennan; poets and artists; American slaves; and wealthy families buried alongside one of the largest famine graveyards in Ireland.

The daily tours (Monday to Friday) start at 3pm. Booking is advisable.

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Opening times

Happening on:

Monday 01/07/2019 15:00 - Friday 30/08/2019 15:00

Price list

Monday - Thursday: £6.50

Friday (Incl. Graveyard Tour): £9.50

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Contact Information


Tales of the Poor House

Clifton House Belfast 2 North Queen Street
BT15 1EQ
Web Address

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