Places to See | Belfast, Northern Ireland.
MacNeice House – the current home of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland at 77 Malone Road – is an imposing double-fronted Victorian merchant’s villa dating from 1889. It is typical of the substantial properties built for the wealthy industrialists of Belfast.
The father of Belfast-born poet, Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), lived there as Church of Ireland Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, and the great poet’s famous poem ‘Snow’ was written in one of the ground floor rooms.
Set back from the road in lawned grounds, behind a low boundary wall and big hexagonal gate piers, the cream-stuccoed house is in lively Italianate style. The front of the house displays two large ground-floor bay windows and a projecting gabled central section sporting a grand portico.
The interior of the house boasts considerable craftsmanship in both plaster and wood of excellent quality, which has been sensitively restored. The warmth of the contrasting woods – mahogany, walnut, teak and pine are all used – is immediately apparent in the elegant part-panelled hall with its impressive fireplace.
The house has been known by several different names and performed various functions over the years. It was originally known as ‘Dunarnon’ and in the 1940s it became Aquinas Hall, a Dominican convent school and residential accommodation for female students at nearby Queen’s University.
Address: MacNeice House, 77 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6AQ
Tel: +44 2890 543 022