Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

Clifton House - The Belfast 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 for tours (check availability) and also for private tours on request. Find out more below:

Clifton House: Experience the Belfast Poor House Tour

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.

Clifton Street Cemetery Tours

- 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.

Hero of Belfast - Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour

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.

What's on at Clifton House

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

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
Belfast Visitor Pass and Concession RateFree

Booking in advance is recommended

Tripadvisor Traveller Rating

Tripadvisor Traveller Rating - 63 reviews63 reviews

Add Clifton House - The Belfast Poor House to your Itinerary

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Tel+44 (0) 28 9099 7022

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Clifton House: Experience the Belfast Poor House Tour (1 Feb 2023 - 2 Dec 2023)
Friday14:00 - 15:30
Saturday10:00 - 11:30
Hero of Belfast: Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour (1 Feb 2023 - 28 Oct 2023)
Friday14:00 - 16:30
Clifton Street Cemetery Tour (1 Feb 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)
Friday14:00 - 15:30
Saturday10:00 - 11:30

* 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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