News from UAHS

New book 'Glamour and Gloom' launches in time for Christmas!


New UAHS publication lauched 'Glamour and Gloom: 1930s Architecture in Belfast'

Fire - A Foe of Belfast's Built Heritage.


The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society is deeply concerned by fire at 150 year old building at 16-18 Donegall Street, Belfast, Friday last, and again on Monday afternoon.  The NI Fire and Rescue service are to be commended on the speed and efficiency of their response on Friday, which undoubtedly saved this building and probably others close by. It seems likely that damage caused on Friday may not have been sufficiently pleasing, and arsonist(s) returned on Monday to further damage this building. Despite the double arson attack, with intervention by the emergency services, the building appears relatively sound. Restoration should be possible and, indeed, is the appropriate response to such wanton damage of Belfast's built heritage.

Heritage Angel Awards- Shortlist Announced!


The search for Northern Ireland’s first Heritage Angels is moving forward with the final Heritage Angel Awards shortlist revealed today.  These annual awards aim to celebrate unsung angels of local heritage- individuals or groups, who have rescued an historic building or site, worked as craftsmen or apprentices, or recorded and interpreted a historic place.

Application Submitted for Phase 1: Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.


Application Submitted for Phase 1: Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. UAHS speaks out about the application process, and the effect proposals would, if approved, have on Belfast and its heritage.

New Listings-New Dawn for Protection of Built Heritage in Belfast?


As the first buildings are listed by issue of Building Preservation Notice since devolved powers in 2015, can this actually be interpreted as a game changer for protection of Belfast’s historic buildings?

It goes without saying that the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) welcomes Belfast City Council’s decision to endorse the listing of prominent Victorian buildings 156-164 and 166-174 North Street, the 120 year old Windsor and Merchants buildings.

Any action attributing value and protection to the City’s remaining historic fabric, given decades of incremental losses, must deliver due credit to Belfast City Council and the members of the City Council Planning Committee.

There was apparent ease in the way that ‘almost listed’ buildings at 97-105 North Street were demolished last year. Belfast City Council had been informed of the buildings’ significance and of the intention to list.  The Council’s power to serve a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) could have been used to protect the buildings in the interim but no such action was taken. The demolition of these buildings added to the previous loss of the Elephant Buildings and bar, now a carpark, and added further to the almost complete demise of Upper North Street, once one of Belfast’s most attractive principal historic trading streets.

Seacoast Cottage Shines Light on Cuts to Historic Environment Funding


The case of Seacoast Cottage serves to shine a light on the lack of funding available to protect some of Northern Ireland’s most important historic buildings.

This B1 Listed thatched cottage is one of over 500 buildings currently recorded to be ‘at risk’. In early 2015, structural issues combined with extreme weather caused partial collapse of the thatched roof. As a consequence the cottage has been deemed structurally unsound and at risk of complete collapse. One of only approximately 150 thatched buildings remaining in Northern Ireland, this six-bay, basalt built, marram thatched cottage survives as a family home, having been in the family of the current owner for four generations. Until 2015, the current owner had self- maintained the thatch without requests for grant assistance. However, the collapse of the thatched roof has meant that the family now need urgent help, and the case is deemed critical.

UAHS is Recruiting- Heritage Events Assistants Required! EXTENDED DEADLINE!


UAHS runs an events programme and projects that involve events activity, such as the Heritage Angel Awards, European Heritage Open Days, and our biannual summer school. In a Heritage Events Assistant role with the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, (UAHS) you will help to deliver these events, for example welcoming, guiding and explaining the work of the UAHS, and the value of membership to our members and the general public. You may help to outreach programmes at locations throughout Northern Ireland and the nine counties of Ulster.

Heritage Angel Awards to feature 'Buildings of Belfast-Heritage in Song'!


Buildings of Belfast – Heritage in Song

Local artists to support first ever Heritage Awards for Northern Ireland


New Future for Former Methodist Church?


Approvals have been granted for well known building at risk, former Methodist Church at University Road to be turned into a public house. With a proposed spend of £2 million by established chain JD Wetherspoon.

The former Methodist Church, University Road, Belfast was built in 1865 to designs by architect W.J. Barre. It is grade B listed and is an important building within the Queen’s Conservation Area. The building is mid Victorian design of red, yellow and blue brick with stone. It’s campanile, or free standing Italian style bell tower, stands prominently on University Road, framing the street with the spires of the nearby Crescent and Moravian listed churches.



Heritage Angel Awards: Information Events!


From 26th July the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society will be out, across Northern Ireland, helping you to find out all about the Heritage Angel Awards Northern Ireland. UAHS will be supported at these events by our funder and partner, the Department for Communities.

The Heritage Angel Awards, is an exciting new project for Northern Ireland, launched in June. The annual awards aim to celebrate unsung angels of local heritage. For example, individuals and communities who have rescued an historic building, completed heritage projects, worked as craftsmen or apprentices, or recorded and interpreted a historic place.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Pre-Application Consultation #2


In April 2017, UAHS advised that a large portion of the Cathedral Quarter Conservation Area- Lower North Street, and Donegall Street is proposed for demolition by way of the ‘Belfast City Regeneration Project’ previously referred to as ‘Royal Exchange’. A campaign led by Save CQ saw over 2000 people object to the proposals. Read the previous article here.

Round two of the pre-application consultation sessions are in the MAC on Monday, 3rd (2pm-8pm) and Tuesday 4th July (9am-2pm). The original timeframe for comment before Friday 7th of July was unnecessarily short.

Launch of Heritage Angel Awards NI! Apply or Nominate Now.


The Inaugural Launch of the Heritage Angel NI Awards took place this week in Belfast.  The scheme funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Department for Communities, is administered by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society.   The Awards seek to celebrate the efforts of people who go to extraordinary lengths to protect, save and share their local heritage.  They also recognise those who champion their local heritage by sharing and practising forgotten craft skills.  In addition they celebrate young people, recognising their efforts to learn about heritage. 


Hilden Mill- Hope for a Heritage Led Future?


UAHS welcomes the news that Barbour Campbell’s Mill, Hilden has been acquired by a new owner. The Society hopes sale spurs Hilden's heritage led future.


Belfast's Next 15 Years? UAHS Responds to Proposed Plans.


UAHS responds to the Belfast City Council Preferred Options Paper, for the Local Development Plan, on a basis of the Society’s core principals of the conservation, re-use and heritage-led regeneration of Northern Ireland’s national built heritage asset. Our principals recognise how the intrinsic value of the asset contributes to prosperity, tourist income generation, culture and pride of place, and a general sense of wellbeing related to living within, and interacting with, urban and rural built environment. Particularly the historic built environment...

UAHS~IGS Summer School-Returns June 2017!


Conservation without Frontiers: Exploring the Connection between Buildings and Places in North West Ulster

UAHS and IGS’s biennial Summer School is back for 2017!

Once again, this special event brings together students, experts and enthusiasts to explore, discuss, debate and enjoy issues relating to our shared Irish heritage in the context of Derry City & Strabane and Donegal. The event will focus on conservation and heritage led regeneration in the built environment of North West Ulster.

There will be many opportunities to visit and engage with the history and heritage of the area through talks, site visits to vernacular and civic buildings of architectural interest, demonstrations of traditional building skills and open discussions.

Speakers include: Dr. Brian Lacey, Paddy Matthews, Dr. Andrew McClelland, Dr. Edward McParland, Dr. Fidelma Mullane, Ronan O'Donnell, Dr. Barry O'Reilly, Dr. Greg Stevenson and Prof. Alistair Rowan.


Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right.


As demolition in the area of Upper North Street continues, unabated, this weekend, a deadline approaches for phase one of consultation on plans to remove yet more of Belfast’s built heritage. Pre application deadline, Monday 3rd April at 5pm.

A large portion of the Cathedral Quarter Conservation Area- Lower North Street, and Donegall Street is proposed for demolition. Including a number of unlisted historic buildings.



Wiping the Face from Historic Belfast.


Demolition continued over the weekend 10th-12th March, of the remaining Victorian Warehouses on Belfast’s Kent and Union Streets, despite early warning to Belfast City Council by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS).

Contractors, presumed to be working on behalf of the recorded buildings’ owner, ES North Street, commenced demolition of the warehouses on Friday 10th of March. ES North Street shares directors with the McAleer and Rushe Group, who partner Belfast City Council (BCC) on a number of development projects.


Listed Bank Suffers Damage in Latest North Street Demolition.


PRESS RELEASE: 27th February, 2017.

Following on the loss of three 'nearly listed' buildings on Belfast's North Street, November 2016, further demolition has caused structural damage to B+ listed, landmark, Art Deco building, former Bank of Ireland, 92-100 Royal Avenue, located on a junction with North Street. With repeated demolitions, what is being done to stop the destruction of our built heritage?

Marks of Time: Exhibition 16th January-10th February.


In a follow up to his 2013 exhibition and book in support of the City of Culture, architect Manus Deery, Principal Conservation Architect in the Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities has spent his spare time over the last year looking in depth at the built heritage of Strabane. The result is an exhibition which will run in the Alley Theatre in Strabane from 16th January to 10 February. As with the previous exhibition, a series of pen and watercolour sketches is used to tell the story of the area from earliest times to the present and how this has left a mark on its buildings. The exhibition is free to all with proceeds from any sales going to local Strabane homeless charity Gable, which is part of Shelter-NI.


UAHS is Recruiting-Heritage Communications & Events Officer Required.


The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society seeks to employ a Heritage Communications & Events Officer to December 2020, subject to annual review and continuation of funding.

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7 College Square North

T 028 9055 0213   

Supported by

Heritage Lottery Fund Historic Environment Fund

NI Charity Commission No: NIC101510

Company Reg No. NI 35582