Welcome to the East Belfast Historical Society
Established in 1970, the East Belfast Historical Society is one of Northern Ireland's leading local historical societies. We meet at Belmont Tower, 82 Belmont Church Road, Belfast, BT4 3FT on the second Thursday of each month from September to May. For further details, please click on the Programme tab above.
East Belfast only became part of the city following an extension of the municipal boundary to take in the old townland of Ballymacarrett on the County Down bank of the River Lagan in 1853. However, Ballymacarrett had been part of Belfast in all but name since its purchase and inclusion in the Chichester estates in 1787. It was from the start an important contributor to the industrial success of the city with its glassworks, foundry, ropeworks, etc., and became pre-eminent with the growth of its shipyards.
The shipyards gave a unique, close-knit character to the local community. Literally thousands of households were linked by having members working in what was at one period the world's largest single shipyard, Harland and Wolff, which at its peak had over 30,000 employees.
Although East Belfast no longer rings to the sounds of shipbuilding the special community identity is still strong. Known worldwide as home to the ill-fated Titanic, the area, subsequently extended to absorb the villages of Sydenham, Strandtown and Knock, has other claims to fame. It had the world's largest ropeworks and Short Brothers (now Bombardier), who established their aircraft factory in 1936, and were pioneers in aviation and builders of the Sunderland flying boat and the Stirling bomber.
East Belfast was the birthplace of the author C.S.Lewis and later the world famous footballer, George Best, and the singer Van Morrison. It is now home to the Northern Ireland Assembly which meets in the fine Parliament Buildings at Stormont.
The East Belfast Historical Society is registered with
the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 103307