Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Belfast, the chief commercial and manufacturing centre in Ireland, is on the Lagan, which flows into Belfast Lough, and which is here spanned by several bridges. It is the capital of Ulster, and the county town of Antrim, and in 1888 was raised to the rank of a city. The area of the borough is in round figures 7,000 acres. Built mostly of brick, it has also wide and regular streets, chief among which is now the Royal Avenue, a new thoroughfare leading through the centre of the town, and containing besides many elegant shops, the post-office, the Ulster reform club, and the free library. Other of its chief public buildings are the town hall, the county court, the commercial buildings and exchange, the white and brown linen halls, the Albert memorial clock tower, theatre, etc. For recreation it has two extensive parks and botanic gardens. Its chief industries are the manufacture of linen and shipbuilding, after which come flour-mills, rope-making, distilling, the manufacture of aerated water, etc. For its extensive commerce it has commodious harbours and docks, as much as between one and two millions having just been expended upon their improvement. Besides trading with British ports, its ships, sail to America and the chief ports on the Continent. The prevailing religious denomination is the Presbyterian, whose churches number 33 as against 6 Roman Catholic, 15 Methodist, and 20 Episcopalian. There are also Unitarian bodies and other minor sects. The leading educational establishments are Queen's college, a brick edifice opened in 1849, the Presbyterian college, the Royal Academical institution, several denominational colleges, and national as well as private schools. It has been the scene of frequent faction fights between the Catholics and Protestants, notably in the years 1864, 1872, 1880, and 1886.