The small houses to the extreme right, or west, are on the site of the present Bank Buildings, where Castle Street terminated as a continuation of High Street.
The Castle had a north-easterly aspect, and opposite the entrance gates, on the east side of the Corn Market, was the Market-House with its square tower, on the first floor of which, above the market stalls, was the room in which the burgesses met at their assembly meetings.
The house adjoining on the east side of the corn market was the Castle brew-house, wherein the cider was brewed from the apples gathered in the orchards.
On the west side of the Corn market, and opposite the brew-house, was the house containing the pleasure boats in the barge-yard, from which in a south-east direction was the castle wharf, joining "The New Cutt River" at the sluice, and entering the Lagan on the south side of the Long Bridge.
|High Street, Belfast, in the 16th Century|
The garden path in front of the barge-yard, running in a south-west direction, was the Long Walk, extending the entire length of the Pleasure Garden.
The Pigeon House was the small house with the pointed roof.
Proceeding from the Pigeon House, past the back of the Castle are the stables, with their five dormer windows, having a carriage entrance from Castle Street.
The Ash Walk, as it appears in Phillips' Map of 1685, did not extend the whole length of the gardens.
It seems, however, to have been extended, at a later date, as in a lease, bearing the date 14th June, 1717, its measurement is given as 530 feet from Castle Street in a southerly direction.
According to that measurement, it formed the western boundary of the Castle gardens, and was probably planted with ash trees as a shelter to the fruit gardens from the prevailing westerly winds.
Its frontage to Castle Street was 250 feet, so that we can fix its area as three acres.
To the east of the Ash Walk was Robin's Orchard, having a frontage to Castle Street; and the garden situated between Robin's Orchard and the Castle was the Melon Garden.
The small building, with an entrance through the Melon Garden, was originally the Coach House.
First published in July, 2012.