Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate, BelfastOriginally posted online on 4 November 2012 at rmchapple.blogspot.com
European Heritage Open Days rolled round once again in early September. This year Isaid that I was going to be ready. This year we would get involved. This year we wouldget out and see some stuff! I downloaded the brochure and made my list
this year we were going to concentrate on what is on our own doorstep: East Belfast. Despite my bestintentions, fate (and work) intervened to ensure that I only got to see one heritage
building … but
what a building it is!
With the creation of the Northern Ireland home rule region in the Government of Ireland Act 1920 there was a need to provide the province with a dedicated building forparliamentary debate. The building that we see today was designed by Sir ArnoldThornely, though it had originally been envisaged as but one component of a muchgrander complex. The original plan was to create a large, domed building with two side buildings, to house all three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.These larger-scale plans were never brought to fruition because of the economicdownturn in Europe, which resulted from the 1929 Stock Market crash in the US. The building is in the Greek classical style, fronted in Portland stone, and was opened in1932.Unfortunately, visitors are only allowed to take photographs outside and in the Great
Hall … so I present just a small collection of photographs from the site. It is an exquisite
building that the general public rarely get a chance to see close-up: