Monday, 29 December 2008

The Restoration Of Church House In Belfast

I am pleased to hear that funding has been secured in order to restore the Presbyterian Assembly Building, Church House, in Belfast.

Church House lies at the corner of Howard Street and Fisherwick Place; and was built between 1900-05. It stands on the site of the former Fisherwick (5th) Presbyterian Church, which opened in 1827. This original church was demolished in 1899 when the congregation moved to its present church on Malone Road.

Church House, as Marcus Patton says, was constructed using uncoursed, rusticated sandstone "in an odd mixture of Scottish Baronial and Perpendicular". It was officially opened by His Grace the Duke of Argyll in 1905.

Fisherwick Place takes its name from Fisherwick Park in Staffordshire, a seat of the Marquesses of Donegall. The 1st Marquess of Donegall was the greatest landowner in Ireland during the eighteenth century. In 1757, Lord Donegall owned about 250,000 acres in counties Antrim, Donegal, Down and Wexford; including the whole town of Belfast too. His "vast palladian mansion (Fisherwick Park in Staffordshire) with a park of 400 acres, all designed and constructed by Capability Brown".

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