The Eastern Counties of Northern Ireland

County Down and South Belfast

Tuesday 2nd - Friday 5th July 2019

Organisers: Hugh Dixon and Ian Wells

Buildings of Belfast and County Down

This year's visit was to coastal County Down, an area not reached in the Society's previous epic Ulster tour.

Buildings of the area reflect a history of Irish tradition resilient to centuries of settlement and fashion change. The tour was guided by our own Hugh Dixon (who spent many years in Northern Ireland as an Architectural Historian, is author of An Introduction to Ulster Architecture and is a member of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society) and other Ulster Architectural Historians. We sampled the great variety of churches, castles, defensive ports of the Lecale and the Ards, and 'great houses' - the enigmatic Castle Ward, neo-classical Mount Stewart (the other Londonderry house) and a linen Baron's Italianate at Ballywalter.

Our hotel was Ballydugan Mill (1792), an award-winning conversion. This is near Downpatrick, the county town with an ancient cathedral (gothic and gothick), fine public and commercial buildings. The visit concluded with a tale of two libraries, and much more, in the 'academic borghetto' which developed around the new Queen's University College on the south side of Belfast from the 1840s. These pictures give only a small idea of the wide range and quality of buildings in the area.

Photo gallery

Download the booking form as a PDF (for reference only).



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