Listed status given to pub, schools and synagogue

John Monaghan
25 August, 2015 18:00

Belfast's oldest pub, a famous Catholic school, a synagogue and landmark newspaper offices are among historic buildings in the city who will enjoy listed status.

The Belfast Telegraph premises on Royal Avenue are one of 19 new buildings granted protection, days after the owners said they intend to put it on sale.

The premises date from 1886 and were designed by Henry Seaver.

Among other notable buildings to be listed are the Belfast Synagogue on Somerton Road, the War Memorial Building on Waring Street and Danske Bank on Donegall Square West.

The former St Mary’s CBS on Barrack Street and Malvern Primary School in the Shankill area are also included.

Opened in 1929 to accommodate the growing Catholic population in the city and complement the primary schools of St Malachy's, St Mary's and St Patrick's, the Barrack Street site was gradually scaled back after a new secondary school campus was opened on the Glen Road in 1968.

As the population shifted further into the west of the city, more and more facilities were transferred and it officially closed in 1998.

Environment minister Mark H Durkan has also decided that city centre pub Kelly’s Cellars should remain listed, along with Arthurs Chambers in Arthur Street and buildings in Church Lane and College Place North.

Built in 1720, Kelly's Cellars is Belfast's oldest pub and has retained many of its original features.

A historical focal point, Kelly's was used by United Irishmen as a meeting place for plotting the 1798 rebellion against British rule and Henry Joy McCracken, one of the leaders, was eventually executed 300 yards away.

Mr Durkan said: "Despite the fact that Kelly’s Cellars has been altered over the years I have concluded it is still of significant historic interest. Sufficient historic material survives to reflect this."

Meanwhile, there are six buildings which no longer merit listing due to significant structural change.

These include Imperial House on Donegall Square East, two buildings that have been totally rebuilt on Royal Avenue, as well as the building currently housing New Look on Royal Avenue.

However, all lie within a conservation area and their external form will continue to be protected.

The new additions bring the number of listed buildings within the city council area to 1,124.

Mr Durkan said: "Some of the buildings now listed are familiar architectural gems in Belfast’s skyline. Others are much less prominent in our streetscape, but are very important because of their historical significance."

Architect Dawson Stelfox last night said that "in broad terms listing is a positive".

"I think it would be sad for the city to lose its landmarks buildings. Listing is an advantage in that it protects the fabric of the building. It prevents bad things happening."

He added: "Being a listed building does mean there is a more onerous process for alterations or amendments. The owner would need to be comfortable with what is planned for the building."

Also among the new listed buildings are Shankill Mission Hall, North Belfast Working Men’s Club (Danube Street), the Kitchen Bar, Murray House (4-6 Murray Street) and 13-17 Grosvenor Road, Donegall Street Congregational Church, West Belfast Orange Hall (Shankill Road), Direct Wine Shipments 5-7 Corporation Square, 23-29 Corn Market and 1,3,5 Castle Lane and Central Hall, 37-29 Rosemary Street.

25 August, 2015 18:00 News

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