Saturday, 10 October 2020

Queen's Arcade, Belfast

Donegall Place Entrance in 2014

QUEEN'S ARCADE, Belfast, runs from Donegall Place to Fountain Street.

Fountain Street Entrance in 2014

Marcus Patton OBE, in his invaluable Central Belfast: A Historical Gazetteer, provides this apt description:-

Long shopping arcade from Donegall Place to Fountain Street, built in 1880 for George Fisher of the Castle Restaurant to designs by James MacKinnon, with new shopfronts inserted 1932 by Sage of London.

Two-storey arcade with pitched, glazed roof carried on perforated iron trusses with pannelled barrel soffits; first-floor windows semicircular with spoke divisions; cornice above first floor with richly-carved floral ornament.

A stone doorcase survives near the Donegall Place entrance. New canopies added at both ends ca 1987.

In 1890 it was described as "at once fashionable as a promenade and highly attractive as a business thoroughfare", containing "upwards of thirty finely fitted shops"; but the existing shops are all modern.

A monogram "AR" on third floor level at the Donegall Place facade alludes to Austin Reed Ltd, which came to the arcade in 1935.

At the apexof the gable is a fanciful model of a fantasy castle, possibly an allusion to the original Belfast Castle which stood across the street.

Donegall Place Entrance

HERE is a list of the tenants in 1910, including five milliners, two tailors, one confectioner's shop and one café:-

1-3   Wm Dickson & Co, Manufacturers of Umbrellas & Walking-Sticks

5      The Irish Art Depot ~ Miss S Burke

7-9   The Queen's Linen Company

11    Mrs Smith, Milliner

13    The Ulster Dairy Company

15    Miss Holmes, Milliner

17    P F Gulbransen, Watchmaker

19    Ladies' Blouse Depot ~ Miss Spence

21-23   Letitia Mayes, Milliner

25    Mills' Lending Library

27-29   Mrs Snugg, Milliner

31   S Bamford, Merchant Tailor


2    Side door

4-6     The Queen's Café

8-10   Miss Hanna, Costumier and Ladies' Tailor

12       S I Cronne, Milliner

14     The Vienna Photographic Art Co ~ W L Allison, proprietor

16     Miss Nicholson, Boot, Shoe & Slipper Warehouse

18     Universal Knitting Machine Company

20     Howden & P H Charley ~ Coal Merchants

22     Miss Beresford, Milliner

24     North of Ireland Loan Bank ~ J Lamont, Manager

26     Miss Mary Bill, Confectioner

Let us hope that Mrs Snugg lived up to her name.

First published in October, 2012.


Gavin Bamford said...

In a former career, you may have attended the Banker's Club. The entrance was to the right of the donegall Place Arcade entrance and it occupied a couple of floors from the middle to the back of the arcade.

flowers on my table said...

Oh how marvellous, I can conjure up all sorts of window displays and fanciful images in my mind's eye!Linda

Merc said...

Had many a drink in the bankers club (IBOA) when it was above the Queens Arcade. It is now located @ Belfast Banker's Club. 31 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6RU. Good times were had in both premises!!!