Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

Clifton House: Life and Death at the Poor House

2 North Queen Street, Belfast, County Antrim, BT15 1ES
exterior image of Clifton House

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The history of Belfast begins at Clifton House. From the moment you step through our door you will be transported back in time to the Belfast Poor House – opened in 1774 – which provided sanctuary to thousands of people, from the young and old, to local citizens and passing sailors, throughout the years.

Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. It is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for tours. Find out more below:

Clifton House: In Life and Death Tour - Sat & Sun at 11am

Experience what life was like in the Poor House on our fully guided tour, where you will hear, see, read, experience and explore our past:

- Hear stories from the Poor House, and learn about the people who sought sanctuary within its walls: men, women and children;

- See original artefacts from the 1700s; 

- Read the names of those who died here, in some cases the only record of their existance, as well as the names of the hundreds of children who called it home;

- Experience our augmented reality, and immerse yourself in our past.

- Explore Clifton Street Cemetery, one of Belfast's oldest burial grounds, and see the final resting place of radicals including Henry Joy and Mary Ann McCracken, Thomas McCabe & William Drennan; poets and artists; an American slave; and wealthy families who were buried alongside one of the largest famine graveyards in Ireland.

All this and more, under the expert guidance of our White Badge volunteers.

Tours are available all year round, every Saturday and Sunday at 11.00am.

Hero of Belfast - Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour every Friday at 2pm

Mary Ann McCracken was a woman who held her own views on the social and political issues of her day- and wasn't afraid to voice them!

A life long abolitionist she campaigned against slavery in the West Indies and continued the fight in to her later years against slavery in the United States.

This one of a kind walking tour, which departs from Clifton House, takes in the locations linked to Mary Ann McCracken's life, her endeavours and that of her family. An experienced guide will take you through the same streets she walked over 200 years before.

Tours are available every Friday at 14:00, departing from Clifton House and finishing near Belfast City Hall

What's on at Clifton House

Clifton House also offer history talks throughout the year, which delve deeper into our rich archives and history. 

Download our 'What’s On Guide for May to December 2022', which highlights our upcoming tours, talks and events. 

We hope to see you soon.


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Attraction Facilities

  • Guided Tours Available

Establishment Features

  • Cater for Corporate events
  • Conference facilities
  • Event venue
  • Groups accepted
  • Groups catered for
  • Online Booking
  • Prior Booking Required
  • Toilets
  • Wi-fi available

Event Facilities

  • Booking Required

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • All major credit/debit cards accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Of historic, literary or architectural interest
  • Unique venue

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£12.50 per ticket
Belfast Visitor Pass and Concession Rate£11.50 per ticket

Booking in advance is recommended

Add Clifton House: Life and Death at the Poor House to your Itinerary

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0) 28 9099 7022

Map & Directions

Opening Times

In Life and Death House and Graveyard Tours (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
Saturday - Sunday11:00 - 13:00
Hero of Belfast: Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
Friday14:00 - 16:30

* Please arrive 10 minutes before the start of your tour

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Directions from Town:Clifton House is accessed from the Clifton Street junction off the Westlink and is located at the junction of Clifton Street and North Queen Street.

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