Northern Ireland news

Crumlin Road Courthouse among UK's most famous abandoned buildings

Crumlin Road Courthouse has been named among the UK's most famous abandoned buildings
Suzanne McGonagle

Belfast’s Crumlin Road Courthouse and Gaol has been named among the most famous abandoned buildings in Northern Ireland and Britain.

It is ranked third in the top 10 of a recent study and is the only landmark in Northern Ireland to feature in the list. 

The survey of abandoned buildings aimed to discover the hidden gems of “diverse ancient architecture” across the UK.

Alan Boswell landlord building insurance, which carried out the study, said the “derelict properties are full of history and beauty, waiting to be discovered”. 

It used a variety of articles featuring famous abandoned buildings throughout the UK to create a ranking to determine the most famous derelict properties. 

The "fame" was measured on presence in film or TV, number of Instagram hashtags, Google searches per month and TikTok views.

It found that the north Belfast landmark, Crumlin Road Courthouse and Gaol, placed third and was described as a “hotspot” for visitors. 

Read more:

“This former prison dates back to 1846 and housed prisoners until 1996,” the survey states.

“The jail is now open to the public for tours, paranormal nights and even weddings.

“The courthouse adjacent to the prison links up via a system of tunnels used to transport prisoners to and from. 

“The courthouse has been left to decay over time, built in 1850 and abandoned since 1998.  

“Although the courthouse is in a state of disrepair, elements of the beautiful neoclassical architecture that many cherish.

“The jail has over 700k TikTok views and almost 10k Google searches a month.  

“This location continues to be a hotspot for the entertainment industry with many titles shooting here including the CBBC hit, The Sparticle Mystery.”

Whitby Abbey was ranked the most famous abandoned building in the UK


Top of the list was Whitby Abbey, which is closely associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

“Whitby’s history bleeds into the Dracula novel we have all come to love,” the survey found.

“The iconic 199 steps up to the abbey travelled by Dracula in the form of a black dog is also noted in the novel.

“In the 2020 Dracula series, there are several shots of the Abbey which has certainly increased its bucket list status for lovers of spooky sites, bringing more than 4.4 Million views on TikTok and over 111k Instagram hashtags.” 

Church of St Dunstan in the East


Other buildings to feature on the list are a former psychiatric hospital in north Wales, which was closed in 1995 after 147 years as well as the ruins of the Church of St Dunstan in the East, regarded as a “hidden treasure in London".

Northern Ireland news