The history of Belfast begins at Clifton House. From the moment you step through our 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 our augmented reality, visitors can now fully immerse themselves in what life was like in the late eighteenth century. Staff and volunteers from Clifton House will share the history of this fantastic building and its people, while they come to life right before your eyes. See how the children learned in the nursery school, experience the ‘Black Hole’ – the punishment room for those who misbehaved. Feel and hear how it was to work in the first cotton mill of the town and how Belfast influenced the rest of the world.
Set up by the philanthropic merchants of the town, the Belfast Charitable Society and its home in Clifton House, has survived rebellions and revolutions, while looking after the welfare of the people of the city. Today, 270 years later, the Belfast Charitable Society continues to address disadvantage and support those in greatest need, through the proceeds from our tours.