Belfast’s Red Brick Heritage Celebrated

Belfast City Council will join Ulster Architectural Heritage (UAH) to celebrate the city's red brick heritage on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September as part of Open Heritage Belfast and European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) weekend

Riddel’s Warehouse in Ann Street, a former iron warehouse, will open up as a Heritage Hub over the weekend where a brand new exhibition on the legacy of red brick in the city will be on display in the atrium of the building. Guided tours of the building will also available.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, visited Riddel’s Warehouse this week ahead of the building opening to the public.

“As part of our Cultural Framework Action Plan, we want to promote the value and enhance access to our city’s heritage. That’s why we have designed the Open Heritage Belfast project in partnership with Ulster Architectural Heritage, “ she said.

“What a beautiful building Riddel’s Warehouse is and I’m delighted to visit and see at first hand its unique architectural heritage   Red brick is a key component of Belfast’s identity which too often we take for granted. The city’s rapid growth in the 19th century could only have happened because the abundant clay of the Lagan Valley made good, cheap bricks. Though Belfast’s brickworks declined through the 20th century, their legacy lives on in the buildings around us.”

Nikki McVeigh, Chief Executive of UAH, said: “Ulster Architectural Heritage is very pleased to partner with Belfast City Council to bring the history of brick built Belfast to life through Open Heritage Belfast at European Heritage Open Days weekend.  Riddel’s Warehouse will be the perfect Heritage Hub for the weekend, with a new exhibition, tours and trails staged from its spectacular red brick atrium. We are also pleased to support openers of red brick buildings across Belfast to tell the story too.”

Marcus Patton, from Hearth Historic Buildings Trust, which has acquired Riddel’s Warehouse, said:  “Hearth Historic Buildings Trust is delighted to be able to share its enthusiasm for Riddel’s Warehouse with people who have not seen its extraordinary interior before – it has a unique combination of architectural detail with gritty industrial heritage.”

Booking is essential (over 16s only) for the guided tours of Riddel’s Warehouse on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September through

As part of EHOD weekend, City Hall and Belfast Castle will also be among the historic buildings in the city taking part. City Hall will offer guided tours hourly from 10am-4pm on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September.  It will also host screenings inside the building of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, narrated by Kenneth Branagh as well as a display of vintage motorcycles in the grounds.