Belfast & Northern Ireland

Belfast Maritime Trail

more than a year ago

The beautifully illustrated Belfast Maritime Trail highlights key Ulster-Scots people and 16 locations connected to Belfast’s rich maritime heritage. Interpretive signage and the folding trail map combine to take you on a unique historical journey through the city.

New signage marks key maritime locations such as Sinclair Seaman’s Church, Queens Quay, Thompson’s Dock and Clarendon Dock. The project’s aim is to increase cultural awareness and extend the reach of Titanic Quarter and the Harbour into the city centre, North and East Belfast.

The beginnings of modern Belfast can be traced to the early 1600s when an urban settlement emerged around the River Farset which now flows beneath the city. Most of the inhabitants at this time were settlers from England and Scotland.

Scottish merchants established Belfast as a commercial centre in the 1600s, and Scotsmen dominated the city’s shipbuilding industry. As Belfast became increasingly industrialised in the 19th century, its commercial links with Glasgow and the Clyde grew even stronger.

By the end of the 1600s Belfast was Ulster's premier port and one of the largest in Ireland. The citygrew steadily in the 1700s, and expanded at a phenomenal rate in the 1800s. By 1911 it was the largest city in Ireland, with a population of 385,000. Early 20th century industrialisation saw Belfast become the world’s most important producer of linen, with more than 35,000 citizens - most of them women - involved in the textile industry.

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