High Street, Belfast

Artist(s) : James Howard Burgess (Draughtsman), [firm of] Mould & Tod (Engraver)

View looking north-east along High Street, from Castle Place. Numerous pedestrians occupy the pavement and the broad, roughly surfaced roadway, where there are several figures on horseback, carts of varying design and a barrow. Shop fronts are ranged along the left-hand side of the street, and, in the distance, masts are just visible in the port. Street lighting is indicated by a single lamppost on each side of High Street.
This print published by Marcus Ward, 6 Cornmarket, Belfast, serves a partly promotional purpose, depicting a scene close to his premises and including the street name Corn Market to the right. Another establishment bearing the family name is given prominence: a shop sign above the street name begins 'Robert F. Ward's'. This site is now (2018) occupied by a Dunnes stores.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Drawn by J. H. Burgess. Eng[rave]d by Mould & Tod Edin[bu]r[g]. Published by Marcus Ward. 6. Corn Market. Belfast
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – High Street, Belfast
  • Text within boundaries of image – Robert F. Ward's

Image Details

Genre Townscape
Technique Etchings
Subject(s) Architecture, Cities and towns
Geographical Location
  • High Street, Belfast - Road
  • Belfast - Town or city
  • Antrim - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Carts, Horses, Lampposts, Men, People, Ships, Stores & shops, Windows, Women
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 14.5 cm x 23 cm
Published / created 1853

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Illustrations of the North of Ireland
Note Drawn by James Howard Burgess. Engraved by Mould & Tod, Edinburgh
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy p. 15
Source copy National Library of Ireland J 91411
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

THE annexed view represents the principal business street in the town of Belfast. It is one of the oldest and formerly was intersected by the “Black Staff” river, which ran open down its centre to the sea, and had trees growing on its banks. In 1663, the river was covered over, and since that period, the appearance of this part of the town has continued to improve, and now presents a splendid street lined with shops and places of business, not surpassed by any provincial town in the Kingdom. The point from where the view is taken, was formerly the site of a Castle, which was surrounded by gardens tastefully laid out, was accidentally burnt down in the year, 1708, and never afterwards rebuilt. Gradually as the town increased, these gardens were intruded on; and now the entire has given place to streets and squares. The river before-mentioned, was crossed by five bridges, the principal one being opposite to Bridge-street, which still retains its name. The town of Belfast stands first in Mercantile importance in Ireland; the population exceeds 100,000, and its imports, exports, and manufacturies, continue steadily on the increase, while the Ulster and other contemplated Railways, and extensive improvements in the Port and Harbour, now in progress, must greatly augment its shipping and other interests. [p. 14]
High Street, Belfast