Friday, 12 February 2016

Hamilton Tower


HAMILTON TOWER, built in 1906 by the architect Dr Robert Cochrane, served as the porter's gate lodge for The Queen's College, now The Queen's University of Belfast.

This building was designed in the Tudor-Revival style.

A single-storey lodge was beside the tower.

There was a fine carriage arch below the two-storey entrance tower.

The spandrel had elegant stone carving and there were armorial bearings above the arch-way.

Behind the tower was an octagonal, battlemented turret.

The elegant wrought-iron railings, which surrounded the Lanyon Building's campus, were probably removed during the 2nd World War and are notable for their absence.

Alas, the Hamilton Tower existed for a mere sixteen years, before it was swept away in 1922.


It was thus named after the Rt Hon and Rev Thomas Hamilton, the third President of Queen’s College and the first Vice-Chancellor of The Queen’s University of Belfast.

He was the longest serving President and Vice-Chancellor.

He was in office for almost thirty-five years, until his retirement in 1923.

Hamilton played a vital role in persuading Government and the local community to support generously the expansion of the College and later the University.

It was felt that Hamilton is not sufficiently acknowledged for the hugely significant contribution he made to Queen’s.

No portrait exists of him, only a photograph.

The Tower and gate lodge were criticised at the time on aesthetic grounds; and subsequently demolished in 1922, a year before Hamilton’s retirement.

First published in February, 2014.

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