Sunday, 27 September 2009

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle is really rather an agreeable place to visit of a lazy Sunday afternoon. When the Castle was completed in 1870, the third Marquess of Donegall and his family moved from Ormeau Park to Belfast Castle, his lordship's new seat.

Like many Victorian piles, it is not actually a castle in the strict sense: it is a Victorian mansion with castellated features.

Despite a rapid decline in the Donegall family's wealth, the 3rd Marquess just managed to complete the Castle; and he died foureteen years later, in 1884 when the Estate was inherited by the 8th Earl of Shaftesbury, Donegall's son-in-law.

The Donegall coat-of-arms features in abundance throughout the stone-work of the Castle: Two wolves, ducally collared and chained, being the Supporters; and a stork with an eel in its bill - perhaps an indication of the Donegall connection with Lough Neagh - as the Crest. Note, too, the heraldic depiction of the coronet of a marquess.

Invitum Sequitur Honor - Honour follows, though unsought for.

Belfast Castle, and the surrounding park, was presented to the City of Belfast by the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury in 1934.

Just beyond the porch, at the main entrance, there is a plaque with the names of city councillors; and I couldn't resist taking a snap thereof, because my uncle was one of those aforesaid councillors.

No comments :