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Heritage Tour - Crumlin Road Courthouse

This is an image of Crumlin Road Courthouse

Crumlin Road Courthouse
(Grade B listed building)

This is a photograph of the Charles Lanyon Plaque

Location of Plaque - 14 Wellington Place

The Crumlin Road courthouse was completed in 1850 from designs by Belfast’s famous County Surveyor, Sir Charles Lanyon. He was the architect behind a large number of well-known buildings in Belfast, including Queens University’s main building, Belfast Central Library, the Customs House, the Theological College in Botanic Avenue (which was used for Northern Ireland's first parliament before Stormont was built), the Palm House in Botanic Gardens (the first in the world and built 10 years before Kew Gardens famous palm house) and Belfast Castle. He later went on to become Belfast Lord Mayor and a MP for the area.

Sir Charles Lanyon was instructed that the cost of the building should not exceed £16,000, though eventually a tender of £16,500 was accepted and the courthouse was completed and formally opened in 1850.

This is a photograph of the Exterior of Crumlin Road Courthouse

The building itself is a two-storied design, built in the Neo-Palladian classical style. The entrance to the courthouse has a portico of eight Greek classical “Corinthian” columns surmounted by a pediment, where within the cornices of its pediment resides the two heraldic beasts of the lion and unicorn either side of the Royal Coats of Arms. Atop the pediment stands the commanding figure of Justice.

The courthouse was enlarged in 1905-1906 to the designs of Young and Mackenzie, when new blocks were added either side of the facade.

The Crumlin Road courthouse finally closed in June 1998, after nearly 150 years of continuous usage. The site was sold to a private developer in September 2003.

Across the road from the courthouse stood the old Crumlin Road prison (another Sir Charles Lanyon design), which was connected to the courthouse an underground passageway. This was used to escort prisoners to court.

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