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Clifton House, formerly the Poor House, was built in 1774 by the Belfast Charitable Society and is one of Belfast's most historic buildings.

The Belfast Charitable Society was founded in August 1752 in a tavern called The George Inn on the corner of North Street and John Street, Belfast. The newly formed society was made up of a group of leading Belfast citizens who played a key role in the development of the city and were at the forefront of providing welfare for its people.

The Poor House in Belfast was a safe haven for the poorest and neediest in society. The Belfast Charitable Society were to the fore in providing the essentials such as food as shelter, but they also provided training, education and skills which were to enable people live independently once more.

The Belfast Charitable Society would go on to be responsible for the origins of social welfare, funeral services and municipal burial grounds, Belfast's first hospital, the provision of clean water and the creation of a fledgling police service.

New immersive tours of Clifton House take place every Saturday and Sunday (advance booking is essential). Now, through the use of world class immersive technology, from the moment you step through the 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.

With the introduction of augmented reality, visitors can now fully immerse themselves in what life was really like in the late eighteenth century. The White Badge tour guides will share the history and stories of this fantastic building, while they come to life right before your eyes.

To find out more or to book visit: https://cliftonbelfast.com/whats-on/tours/
  • 2 North Queen Street
  • Belfast
  • Antrim
  • BT15 1EQ

Top Reasons To Visit

  • Provides a unique insight into the development of the city
  • Finest surviving Georgian Belfast building
  • Fascinating interpretative centre
  • Contains a large collection of antiques and artefacts
  • One of Belfast's most historic buildings
  • Clifton House History Tours

    • Take a Friday tour to discover the ‘honourable history’ of the Belfast Charitable Society and the Poor House which opened in 1774
    • Hear the stories of past public spirited citizens without whom Belfast would not have become the city it is today
    • See artefacts which date back to the 17th century in Belfast’s oldest working building
    •  House Tours and Graveyard Tours are now combined, offering you the chance to visit both. Tours will run every Saturday and Sunday at 11am (check below for availability).
    • Or experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist, abolitionist and social reformer. The Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour, takes place every Friday afternoon at 2pm.

    Group tours can be arranged by contacting 028 9099 7022.


In Life & Death: Clifton House & Clifton Street Cemetery Tour

1.21 KM
02 Jul - 27 Nov 2022

New tour combining Clifton House and Clifton Street Cemetery, taking in the history of those who lived and died in Belfast.

Clifton House Belfast
Find Out More

Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast Walking Tour

1.21 KM
01 Jul - 04 Nov 2022

Experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist and social reformer.

Clifton House Belfast
Find Out More

North Belfast Heritage Trail

1.21 KM
04 Apr - 31 Dec 2022

North Belfast’s unique built heritage is a hidden gem stretching back to the 18th Century. In just over one mile, 14 such buildings and more to…

Clifton House Belfast
Find Out More

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