Belfast Cathedral

Step off Belfasts busy streets into a timeless place of prayer to explore its history and enjoy quiet moments of reflection in this beautiful place.

About this church

This site in Donegall Street originally housed a smaller church in Classical style, a gift to the town of Belfast by its landlord Lord Donegall, which was consecrated in 1776 and called St Anne, after the mother of the Virgin Mary. Lord Donegalls wife was also called Anne, which probably determined the choice of name. The project to build a cathedral for Belfast was launched in 1895. Architects were appointed, both Belfast men, Thomas Drew, who provided the plans, and WH Lynn. The style chosen was Romanesque and the building would be basilican in form.

The foundation stone was laid on September 6th 1899. Building began around the old church, which continued to be used for services until the end of 1903. The first part of the building to be constructed, the nave, was consecrated on June 2nd 1904. For nearly 80 years the cruciform church was a work in progress, with sections completed bit by bit: crypt and foundations for a proposed crossing tower 1922-24; west front 1925-27; baptistery 1928; Chapel of the Holy Spirit 1932; apse and ambulatory 1959; transepts 1974 and 1981. A temporary brick chancel did duty until the east end was completed. The stainless steel Spire of Hope was lowered into place in 2007.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Non-accessible toilets in church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café in church
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Church shop or souvenirs

Other nearby churches

St Patrick

The first church was built on this site in 1815 and was the second Catholic church built since the Reformation in the city of Belfast.

FáilteFeirstethiar
CountyAntrimBELFASTStPetersCathedral(fáiltefeirstethiar)1

St Peter's Cathedral

Rendered in sandstone and in the Romanesque style, its treasury boasting artefacts of international significance, chief among them a relic of St Patricks arm, enshrined in a priceless medieval silver reliquary.

Become a Friend of the National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings!