Monday, 25 May 2020

Malone Place, Belfast

Malone Place at Sandy Row, May, 2020

MALONE PLACE, Belfast, is a short, narrow terrace of little houses tucked away from the madding crowd.

You might catch a glimpse of it if you are travelling past the beginning of the Lisburn Road.

This diminutive terrace is one-sided, as it were.

The Toll-house Garden, May, 2020

There's an enclosed 'garden' opposite the houses, with railings, locked up, without any seating.

Incidentally, King William Park (aptly named: loyal Sandy Row is across the road) has no seating, either; so bring a picnic rug!

In the middle of this small enclosure there is a plaque which tells us that the gardens of the toll-gate house were close to this location.

The old toll-gate cottage certainly was across the street, at the corner of the present Tollgate House of 1987-88, quite a large prosaic block on Bradbury Place.

The Toll-gate Cottage, looking towards Shaftesbury Square, ca 1910

In the name of Progress the little cottage, built about 1815, had to be swept away in the autumn of 1961.

Let's be thankful that Malone Place survives.

The Northern Ireland Department for Communities' Historic Buildings Database has written a lot about Malone Place, and has already compiled information from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

I'd therefore wish to acknowledge this in some of my own narrative here.

Malone Place, May, 2020

Malone Place commences at the very end of Sandy Row, where its junction with the Lisburn Road begins.

It terminates at the Malone Place General Practitioners' Maternity Hospital, a block of ca 1925.

Blondin Street runs from here to Gaffikin Street.

In the 1974 Belfast street directory there are fifteen houses, all odd-numbered:-

  • 1 ~ 'Scotts, General Dealers.'
  • 3-5 ~ Vacant.
  • 7 ~ Thompson, WJ & Sons ~ Boot & Shoe Repairers and Retailers.
  • 9 ~ Robertson, Miss A.
  • 11 ~ Walmsley, Richard B.
  • 13 ~ Delaney, William John.
  • 15 ~ Turley, James.
  • 17 ~ Greer, Mrs Margaret.
  • 19 ~ McNamara, John.
  • 21 ~ Madill, Miss M.
  • 23 ~ Evans, Francis.
  • 25 ~ Burgess, W.
  • 27 ~ Irwin, Mrs Ellie.
  • 29 ~ Watson, Mrs Florence.

Number One, known as Malone Place Apartment, is available for rent.

Number Five  (the ground floor) is for sale (May, 2020).

Number Seven seemed to be a private residence from between 1843-49, when it was built, till about 1895, when it became a shop. It remained a shop until about 2004, when it reverted back to being a domestic residence.

Number Nine has always been a residential property. About 1850 a railway clerk lived here, followed by several other clerks, and a reporter in the Belfast Telegraph in 1884.

Number Seventeen, like the rest, was built about 1850. In 1867, one Jane Crosbey was summonsed to appear in court on a charge of having been disorderly in the public street, information having been received by magistrates ‘as to the character of the house she kept’.

The Historic Buildings database, dated 2011, remarks that Number Twenty-three is:
"A two-storey, two-bay Victorian mid-terrace dwelling built ca1860. Forming part of the latter half of the terrace, the exterior of the house has retained its general character, although some historic features of interest have been lost following refurbishment of the terrace in ca2000." 
"The overall intact external appearance of the terrace ensures that it is a good surviving example of housing of this type. Number 23 adds significant value to the group as a whole, makes a positive architectural contribution to the character of the area."
That evaluation applies to many of the others. 

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