Monday, January 16, 2017

Priest's house at Belfast cathedral recommended for historical listing parochial house which is attached to one of the most picturesque cathedrals in Northern Ireland is set to be given historical listing. 

The dwelling at St Peter's Cathedral in west Belfast has been recommended by the Department of Communities for B1 listing, just one category below the top tier A, which is reserved for some of the most special constructions in the country.

The building at St Peter's Square, just off the lower Falls Road, has been described in the listing notes as a four storey L-shaped ashular parochial house.

Construction started in 1867, one year after the main cathedral was completed. 

The site - which is now surrounded by densely packed housing - was given to the bishop in 1858 for the construction of a church by the Belfast baker, flour merchant and philanthropist Bernard Hughes. 

John O'Neill completed the work on the cathedral when the original architect, Father Jeremiah McAuley, left Belfast to complete his ecclesiastical training. 

The parochial house has been added to since the original design, with a two storey entrance portion and small extensions to the rear. 

However, much of the original historic fabric and fine detailing survives throughout, such as the steep slated gables with corbelled eaves and original joinery and cornicing internally. 

The parochial house and cathedral are observed in the listing notes as the "most significant group of historic buildings in the immediate and wider area, with the twin spires of the cathedral visible across much of the city".

Belfast city councillors who sit on the council's planning committee are set to discuss the recommendation for listing at a meeting tomorrow evening.

The minutes for the meeting include a recommendation that the committee, in recognition of the heritage value, supports the proposed listing by the Department for Communities.

This second survey of all of Northern Ireland's building stock is currently under way to update and improve on the first list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest, which began in 1974.

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