Friday, 1 March 2019

Donegall Square: 1844

Donegall Square East ca 1912.  Click to Enlarge

EXTRACT FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY GAZETTEER OF IRELAND, 1844

DONEGALL SQUARE, at the south end of the town, and on the thoroughfare toward Dublin, is a noble quadrangle of about 200 yards by about 150.

Two streets, each nearly half a mile long, and mutually parallel over their whole length, run eastward and westward on a line with its north and south sides, and are spacious in width, and handsomely edificed with private houses.

The northern one of these streets bears successively westward the names of Chichester Street, Donegall Square North, and Wellington Place; and it opens, at the west end, directly opposite the middle of Belfast College [Inst].

Aspect from Chichester Street

The square or quadrangle in the centre of which the College stands has a larger area, and a more airy aspect, than Donegall Square; but, though sumptuous in its public buildings, is irregularly and but partially edificed.

Wellington Place looking towards INST.

DONEGALL PLACE opens from the middle of Donegall Square North, and runs upwards of 200 yards northward in a very spacious and handsomely edificed street-line.

HIGH STREET commences at the north end of Donegall Place; runs in a very gentle curve 600 yards east-north-eastward to the quays; is airy, wide, and of imposing aspect; and makes amends by the magnificence of its shops and warehouses, and by its cleanly and cheerful appearance of a perfect whirl of business, for some irregularity in its alignment and architectural structure.

ANN STREET, south of High Street, and somewhat parallel with it, is narrow and comparatively choked, but draws attention from the orderly bustle of its abounding business.

Waring Street looking towards Rosemary Street

WARING STREET AND ROSEMARY STREET form a continuous line north of High Street, and almost strictly parallel with it; and, though the Rosemary part is narrow and confined, the Waring Street part, 400 yards long, is spacious, and possesses, in the aggregate, a wholesale business character.

NORTH STREET, rather narrow and subordinate in its appearance, runs 550 yards north-westward from the junction of Waring Street and Rosemary; or, more properly, from the north end of a neat, short, spacious, business street.

DONEGALL STREET opens from Waring Street at the distance of only the length of the Old Exchange from the southeast end of North Street; runs 650 yards north-northwestward to the Infirmary; is partly uniform, and everywhere spacious and interesting; and, from the prevalence successively of splendid shops, showy places of worship, and mansion-looking houses in its sidelines, may be said to have first a business, next an ecclesiastical, and next an aristocratic character.

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