Northern Ireland news

Loyalist ceasefire setting granted listed building status

Brendan Hughes
25 March, 2016 15:00

THE place where loyalist paramilitaries declared a ceasefire in 1994 is among dozens of buildings in Belfast that have been newly granted listed status.

Eight churches, a horse stableyard that once housed a Grand National winner and several houses along Van Morrison's Cyprus Avenue have also been listed.

Fernhill House in Glencairn Park was where the Combined Loyalist Military Command – an umbrella group for the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando – announced it was joining the IRA in a ceasefire in 1994.

The outbuildings at Fernhill House were also used by 'Tipperary Tim', winner of the Aintree Grand National in 1928 despite odds of 100/1.

Two pairs of semi-detached houses known as 'Plevna Villas', built on Cyprus Avenue, Beersbridge Road and the Upper Newtownards Road are also among the buildings recognised.

East Belfast's Cyprus Avenue was made famous by singer Van Morrison after the street was immortalised in his album Astral Weeks. Last year he marked his 70th birthday with two concerts on Cyprus Avenue.

In total 33 buildings in Belfast have been newly granted listed building status.

Making the announcement, environment minister Mark H Durkan said it reflects the city's "diverse and varied history".

"This is a real boost for Belfast. The listing of these buildings recognises the architectural and historic interest of a wide range of structures spanning over a century of the city's development," he said.

"The variety of buildings listed reflects the city's diverse and varied history. From older and modern churches, graveyard monuments, pillar boxes and boundary posts, to a stableyard which is part of the outbuildings that once housed a Grand National winner and which was a community museum, they all have fascinating stories to tell.

"Listing these structures will ensure these important cultural assets are preserved and protected."

Other buildings listed include former estate worker cottages and two pavilion buildings on the Stormont Estate.

The eight churches are of various styles, ranging from the more traditional Gothic Revival examples at Ballysillan Presbyterian and Cavehill Methodist churches in north Belfast to the modernist design of Orangefield Baptist Church.

Three parliamentary boundary posts dated 1918 in Gilnahirk Road and King's Road have also been listed.

They mark the outer extent of the Belfast Corporation and Pottinger electoral ward division, and are a remnant of the first election in Britain and Ireland when nearly everyone – bar women under 30 – had the right to vote.

Mr Durkan added: "Our built heritage is a precious and finite resource. It is important that we work together to ensure that it is valued and enjoyed into the future and that its potential to contribute to our economic and social wellbeing and regeneration is fully realised."

The new additions bring the total number of listed buildings in Belfast to 1,154.

New listings in Belfast

1 and 2 Stormont Cottages: Built around 1936 as a pair of villas for the superintendents of the Stormont estate

2, 4 and 6 Cyprus Avenue, 99 Upper Newtownards Road: Semi-detached houses dating from around 1877. The group of four houses, originally known as 'Plevna Villas' were erected following the industrial expansion of the Belfast and Co Down railway

Fernhill House (former People's Museum), Glencairn Park: Designed in classical style, the building retains many original features, tree-lined avenue and elevated setting

Fernhill House outbuildings, Glencairn Park: An intact courtyard range of buildings associated with Fernhill House

Pillar Box, in front of 159 Connsbrook Ave: George VI post box erected between 1936 and 1938, carrying its makers name Lion Foundry Co Ltd, Kirkintilloch

Orangefield Baptist Church, North Road: An example of ecclesiastical modernism

Parliamentary boundary post, beside 14 Gilnahirk Road

Parliamentary boundary post, between 44 and 50 Gilnahirk Road

Parliamentary boundary post, beside 109 Kings Road

Quarry House, 42 Quarry Road: Constructed in 1912 on land owned by Frank Workman of Workman Clark and Co Ltd – Belfast's second-largest shipbuilder at the time

2-4 Belmont Road: Originally commissioned by Braithwaite and McCann spirit dealers who owned one of the largest chain of public houses in Belfast. It has been used by various Unionist organisations during the 20th Century

Cross of Sacrifice, Dundonald Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice, Belfast City Cemetery, Falls Road: War memorials erected between 1927 and 1931

Pavilion, Massey Ave, Stormont Estate:

Pavilion, Stormont Estate, Belfast: Neo-Georgian style pavilions constructed in 1936 to the designs of Arnold Thornley, the architect for Parliament Buildings

Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, Beersbridge Road: Gothic Revival-style church and hall. The original design in 1897 was by James John Phillips and Son with the hall by Hobart and Heron in 1925

Woodvale Presbyterian Church, Woodvale Road: Designed in 1899 by Young and Mackenzie

Woodvale Park Bandstand, Belfast: Bandstand dating from 1925

Ballysillan Presbyterian Church: Late Victorian Gothic Revival church built in 1891 to designs of Samuel Stevenson

Holy Trinity Church of Ireland church, Ballysillan Road: Gothic Revival church, built in 1954 to the designs of local architect E P Lamont. It includes a bell dated 1844 salvaged from the earlier Trinity Church which was destroyed during the Second World War

Cavehill Methodist Church, 92-114 Cavehill Road: Rustic red brick hipped roof church

Chapel at Dominican College, 38 Fortwilliam Park: A modernist chapel dating from 1964 and features an unusual wedge-shaped floor plan

Bearnageeha, St Patricks Secondary School, Antrim Road: Former merchant's villa built in buff sandstone in 1868 with classical Greek detailing. Former occupants include Major General J K Millner, the Olympic gold medal winner and Walter Francis Clokey, the prominent Irish stained glass artist.

585 and 587 Antrim Road, Belfast: Pair of semi-detached High Victorian gabled houses built in 1865

Newington Presbyterian Church and church hall, Limestone Road: Built in 1951 and designed by Young and Mackenzie

Gate Lodge to Holy Family Primary School, Newington Avenue: Late Victorian gate lodge to the Holy Family Church, a chapel demolished in 1912 to make way for a permanent church

Hamill Vault, St Joseph's Churchyard, Hannahstown: Gabled burial vault in Gothic Revival style dating from 1905

25 March, 2016 15:00 Northern Ireland news