Historic houses and castles

Belfast City Hall

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Contact details


Donegall Square, Belfast,
T: (028) 9032 0202
F: (028) 9050 2094
E: civicbuildings@belfastcity.gov.uk

The City Hall has often been described as the 'stone' Titanic.

Iconic Belfast City Hall was officially reopened on 12th October 2009 following its £11m, two-year refurbishment programme. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveilled a plaque to mark the reopening.

The home of Belfast City Council, it was designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas and built in Portland stone. Completed in 1906, it is a magnificent Edwardian 'wedding cake' built to reflect Belfast's city status, granted by Queen Victoria in 1888. The dome is 53m (173 feet) high. Figures above the door are 'Hibernia encouraging and promoting the Commerce and Arts of the City'.

Today, the grounds of City Hall are a favourite of city centre workers, students and tourists for taking a break from the bustling city. Many people can be found relaxing in the grounds with friends or simply a sandwich and a favourite book. The grounds are also used for many events from continental markets to open air concerts.


The City Hall's connections with the Titanic are many. In fact the Lord Mayor at the time of its opening, Sir Daniel Dixon, credited William Pirrie, the man who created Titanic, as having ‘the big ideas’ for City Hall. Pirrie, Lord Mayor in 1896/7, is said to have referred to it as 'the stone Titanic'. In its grounds, the Titanic Memorial, sculpted by Thomas Brock, pays tribute to 22 men who lost their lives on the ship. Another statue by Brock depicts Sir Edward Harland, ship’s plan in hand, who was Lord Mayor in 1885/6.

Thanks to Pirrie’s influence, the Lord Mayor’s Suite is also known as ‘the Titanic Rooms’, as craftsmen who worked on them went on to work on the famous liner. Portraits of Lord and Lady Pirrie hang in the Reception Room. On May 31st, 2006, on the 150th anniversary of his birth (and the 95th anniversary of Titanic’s launch), a special plinth was erected to William Pirrie in the grounds of City Hall, describing him as ‘the greatest shipbuilder the world has ever known’.


Free public tours of the building are available. Led by an experienced guide, they last around one hour and uncover the history of City Hall, while exploring some of its finest features.

Tours are available at the following times:
Monday to Friday - 11am, 2pm and 3pm.
Saturday - 2pm and 3pm.
There are no tours on Sundays, bank holidays or public holidays.

Private group tours are available. They must be booked in advance and outside of public tour times. To book call us on (028) 9027 0456 (textphone - (028) 9027 0405) or email civicbuildings@belfastcity.gov.uk.


As part of the refurbishment, a new coffee shop and exhibition area have been added. The theme of the new area is Belfast industries from the 17th century through to the present day. The area has been named 'The Bobbin', following a public vote in the summer of 2009.