PROGRESSIVE WEB APPLICATION VERSION
CRESCENT CHURCH6 UNIVERSITY ROAD BELFAST
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One of the finest examples of Regency-style planning in Belfast, in the late 1800s Upper and Lower Crescent were home to Belfast city’s professionals who had moved to the South as town centre premises were being turned into retail outlets. Residents were attracted by the elegant three storey dwellings and close proximity to the bustling Queen’s College, which opened its doors in 1849.
A few years ago, before Covid-19 restrictions, I walked from Donegall Quay to Stranmillis College and it rained for the duration of my walk but this year the weather was beautiful (even though it was March) and instead of walking I got a bus from the City Hall as far as the Upper Crescent in the Queen's Quarter where this church is located.
Unlike Dublin sections of Belfast are totally dominated by local institutions and this is especially noticeable if one visits what is now known as the Queen’s Quarter. Almost every business and commercial activity in the area depends on the existence and activities of the university or its students. This area also features many churches which is one of the reasons why I visit the area.
The main university building in beautiful and well worth a visit but much of the surrounding area is not as attractive as one might expect it to be. The high proportion of students (80% in some parts) has led to a decline in the number of full-time residents in the area, and a marked increase in anti-social behaviour in recent years.
Although students live across the entire quarter, the Holylands area to the east of the Lanyon Building has become infamous for bad behaviour which has included anti-social behaviour from some students as well as retaliation attacks from a minority of full-time residents.
The area, in general, is known for its architecture which includes not only the Lanyon Building, but also Union Theological College (a Presbyterian training college used as the base for the Parliament of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1932), the main building of Methodist College Belfast and Elmwood Hall (a former Presbyterian Church, now owned by Queen's and used as a concert hall). The main building of Stranmillis College (part of Queen's) was also designed by Charles Lanyon.
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