Originally known as The Poor House, Clifton House was built by the Belfast Charitable Institution in 1774 and was also used as a nursing home and hospital. Today it functions as a unique event venue and Heritage Centre. Clifton House’s virtual Friday talks are a new series of discussions exploring the multifaceted history of the Poor House, its Board and the residents who sought sanctuary within its walls. 

Providing a fascinating glimpse into Belfast’s past the talks will cover a range of subjects such as women and children’s history and the buildings connection with families such as the Joy, Chichester and McKracken families and will run every Friday. 

‘The Bigger Family Picture: From 1798 to Partition’ online talk will take place on 12th March and will look at the Bigger family of Mallusk, attendees will explore this remarkable family through some of its most interesting personalities including the noted antiquarian Francis Joseph Bigger. 

On the 19th MarchPlots and Plotters: Belfast Charitable Society and the 1798 Rebellion’ online talk will investigate the history of the reformers and rebels who made the Belfast Charitable Society a “hotbed of radical activity” in the 1790s. Hear about the Joys, McCracken’s, McCabe and Cunningham who were on opposing sides of the 1798 Rebellion and how the Charitable Society, and its members, emerged from it

The talk on Friday 26 March, ‘Industrial Philanthropists: The Barbour Family of Lisburn’ will look at the fascinating history of the Barbour Family of Lisburn, founders of Barbour Threads at Hilden. Finally, on Friday 2 April to mark the 251st anniversary of the birth of the philanthropist, abolitionist and activist, Mary Ann McCracken there will be a talk on ‘Mary Ann McCracken (1770-1866): Her Life and Times’.  

The talks will be running every Friday at 1pm until the 1st of April and will take place via Zoom. Tickets cost £5 per device. To register your place or for more information visit archive@cliftonbelfast.org.uk.