Discover the inspirational story of the Belfast Poor House and its vast impact
on the growing city of Belfast.

June 2015

The future

2051 – Just as its founding fathers set out to do at that inaugural meeting in 1752, the Society is confident it will mark its 300th anniversary this year and will continue the important work to ‘pursue all or any charitable activities which advance the interests or are for the benefits of persons appearing to the […]

Clifton House as a venue

2015 – As well as continuing to provide care for the elderly, part of Clifton House can now also be rented for an event space with many organisations booking to hold General Annual Meetings, conferences and many other events in the historic building. Find out more by visiting Clifton House.

The Society currently offers tours of Clifton […]

December 2002

Clifton House Upgrade

2002 – Having been closed since the Spring of 2000, Clifton House itself was completely upgraded by late 2002. The conversion now provides ‘sheltered housing’ for over 70 elderly and disabled people and ‘housing with care’ facilities for 27 people. An Interpretative Centre run by the Society occupies the most historic part of the building […]

September 2001

Home from Home appeal

2001 – The Home from Home appeal was reminiscent of the first appeal made by the founders in 1752. This time, private subscriptions and business donations were supplemented by 20th Century enterprises such as abseiling down the front of tall buildings. The appeal raised over £1 million and included a donation of almost £400,000 from […]

July 1996

Belfast Charitable Society Act

1996 – In the House of Lords on July 18, the Lord Chancellor rose to read the titles of 15 Bills that received Royal Assent and became law that day. The last to be read was the Belfast Charitable Society Act;

‘In order to ensure that the Society will be able to serve the present-day and […]

May 1995

Care for the elderly

1995 – The Board now faced a major dilemma as the previous improvements did not go far enough to meet new regulations and provide modern care for the elderly. Clifton House required either a more extensive upgrade or a completely new building. After much debate it was decided only a new building would be able […]

April 1976

Clifton House declared Grade I Listed

1976 – Clifton House was declared a Grade I listed building which was preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

January 1966

Military presence at Clifton House

1966 – 1990s – The Society continued to face many issues as the 20th Century drew to a close. With the outbreak of the widespread civil unrest in the late 1960s, there was once again a military presence in the grounds of Clifton House. The construction of the Westlink dual carriageway required land to be vested […]

February 1965

Extensive renovation

1965 – Following the report, the Committee swiftly decided on extensive renovation, estimated to cost £20,000. Work began in 1965 and by 1970 at least half of the rooms in the basement had been renovated and were in use. Costs increased due to dry rot, but this was not the only problem the society faced […]

April 1964

Independent survey carried out

1964 – In 1964 the Board invited Dr George Adams, Consultant Geriatrician at the Belfast City Hospital (the former workhouse hospital), to conduct an independent survey. One of his conclusions from the report said that between 15-10 years ago, Clifton House was well ahead of most other institutions for the care of old people and […]