Belfast Telegraph

Beer and (holy) spirits as pub and Ian Paisley's church get listed status

By Linda Stewart

The church founded by the late First Minister Ian Paisley and one of the Falls Road's best known pubs have both been listed by the Department of the Environment.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said 12 buildings and structures across Belfast have been protected, bringing the total in the city to 1,119.

The listings include the Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, McQuiston Presbyterian Church, the Rock Bar in west Belfast, the former Ligoniel public baths, the former Ligoniel branch library and a number of cast iron markers which show the historic parliamentary boundaries of the city.

Mr Durkan said: "The new additions reflect the diverse and rich heritage of Belfast. The old parliamentary boundary markers, for example, are significant reminders of the historic 1918 general election. Listing these additional buildings and landmarks will ensure important assets are preserved and protected as part of the city's rich heritage."

The latest listings were made as part of the ongoing resurvey of the city's historic buildings undertaken by the department. Another six wards have still to be surveyed.

The listing says Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church is of social interest to the community, describing it as "a large and well proportioned, mid-20th century church, which retains much of its fine internal and external detailing".

Also included is the Rock Bar on the Falls Road, which was opened by Francis O'Neill in 1900.

The bar was damaged in the civil strife of the early 1920s and has an elaborate sandstone three-bay Baroque style projection to the frontage, with rare Edwardian window frames. Another listing is a house on Park Road in south Belfast which features original panelling designed for Titanic's sister ship Britannic, which sank in the First World War.

The Belfast Buildings Trust welcomed the listings, but warned that it was as important to use important buildings in a way that delivers regeneration to the city.

"It has to be more than about protection, they have to be seen as a key part of how we drive development and economic regeneration across Belfast," development manager Shane Quinn said.

"It's important that protection is backed up by proper enforcement and appropriate sanctions when the listing is flouted."

Factfile

The newly-listed buildings and structures

  • 53 Park Road Belfast
  • Musgrave Wing Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Martyr's Memorial Free Presbyterian Church
  • McQuiston Presbyterian Church
  • The Rock Public House
  • Former Public Baths, Ligoniel Road
  • Gentleman's residence, 71 Somerton Road Belfast
  • Conservatory Cottages, Stormont Estate.
  • Parliamentary Boundary Post Glencairn Road
  • Ligoniel Branch Library, Ligoniel Road.
  • Parliamentary Boundary Post near 720 Antrim Road.
  • Parliamentary Boundary Post near 783 Antrim Road.

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