Belfast Asylum

Belfast Asylum (Irish: Tearmann Bhéal Feirste) was a psychiatric hospital on the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Belfast Asylum
Belfast District Lunatic Asylum (cropped).jpg
Belfast Asylum
Belfast Asylum is located in Northern Ireland
Belfast Asylum
Shown in Northern Ireland
LocationBelfast, Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°35′37″N 5°57′17″W / 54.59367°N 5.95461°W / 54.59367; -5.95461Coordinates: 54°35′37″N 5°57′17″W / 54.59367°N 5.95461°W / 54.59367; -5.95461
SpecialityPsychiatric hospital


The hospital, which was designed by Francis Johnston and William Murphy, opened as the Belfast Asylum in 1829.[1] In an important legal case in the mid nineteenth century, the governors of the asylum argued that compulsory religious education of the insane was unwise and successfully persuaded the courts that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland should not be allowed to appoint chaplains to the asylum.[2] After services transferred to the new Purdysburn Villa Colony, Belfast Asylum closed in 1913.[3] The asylum building was converted for use as the Belfast War Hospital in July 1917 during the First World War.[4] The War Office closed the war facility in winter 1919.[5] In the late 1920s the buildings were demolished and the site cleared to make way for the Royal Maternity Hospital.[6]


  1. ^ "Saint Ita's Hospital, Portraine". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  2. ^ Prior, Pauline; Griffiths, David (1997). "The Chaplaincy Question: The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Versus the Belfast Lunatic Asylum". Éire-Ireland. pp. 137–153.
  3. ^ "Obituary Dr. Walter Fowler". British Medical Journal 1917; 2. 17 November 1917: 674. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.2968.674-e. S2CID 220164257. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Military hospitals in the British Isles 1914-1918". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  5. ^ Durnin, D. (2019). "The Impact of the First World War on Irish Hospitals, 1918–1925. In: The Irish Medical Profession and the First World War. Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History". Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-17959-5_6. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Royal Jubilee Maternity". Historic Hospitals. Retrieved 31 May 2019.

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