The growth of south Belfast

  • Samuel Trevor. Carleton

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMaster of Philosophy


"It was every man for himself; and the Devil, if he did not take the hindmost, at least reserved for himself the privilege of building the cities." Lewis Humford.

It should become abundantly clear in the following pages that the Devil was not allowed a completely free hand in South Belfast, being subject to many controlling influences, both topographic and social; nevertheless, there is little doubt that some of the enormities for which he was here
responsible are at least comparable with his worst excesses elsewhere.

The writer's interest in his subject first found written expression in an Honours dissertation entitled "neighbourhoods in South Belfast." This undergraduate research was
generously acknowledged by the author of "A social geography of Belfast whose teaching had largely inspired it. An equally important influence, which in the end proved to be the stronger of the two, had been Professor Evans' view of landscape as a palimpsest in which it is possible to discern the past in the present. Thus, the present work explores in
far greater detail the historical aspect of the original dissertation.

South Belfast was already taking shape just before the little Georgian town was "overwhelmed by a rush of prosperity,' so that the transition from Georgian to Victorian domestic
architecture can be clearly seen and is referred to in the following pages. The subject awaits the attention of a
specialist, however, and it is for this reason that the dating
given in the Appendices is more precise than would otherwise
have been necessary.

The annotated bibliography is also designed to assist others who may pursue similar lines of research in other sectors of Belfast. The urgent need for such parallel studies is self evident in these days of rapid redevelopment.

The writer has, like Professor Darby, shrugged off the "burden of sin " which he shouldered in his undergraduate days, and is no longer concerned with the question : "Am I a geographer?" No apology, therefore, is offered for the
faintly antiquarian nature of some of the early pages, dealing with aspects of local history which in many cases have not hitherto been satisfactorily explained.

In order to lighten the burden of footnotes, which are postponed until the end of each chapter, authors' names are followed generally only by page references. The full titles of their works are given in the list of sources at the end.
Date of Award1967
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast

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