One of my favourite buildings in Belfast is the Lanyon Building at Queen’s University. While working at a hostel in the city, Queen’s University was just around the corner. Every now and then I’d take the opportunity to stroll up, just to have a wee look at the red brick against blue or (more often) grey skies.
The building is named after its architect, Charles Lanyon, who put a massive stamp across the face of Belfast. He is the architect behind most of the famous buildings, including Belfast Castle and the Crumlin Road Gaol.
There is an entire gallery dedicated to Lanyon in the nearby Ulster Museum. Perhaps I will do a Lanyon tour of Belfast one day? It would require me to go to some rather unsafe buildings; like the Crumlin Road Courthouse which has been a fire gutted derelict since 2004.
The Lanyon Building opened in 1849 with the inauguration of Queen’s College (one of the University’s academic predecessors). Queen’s University is one of the oldest universities in the United Kingdom and one of only 8 to have held representation in parliament (until 1950).
Between 1928 and 1960, the graduates of Queen’s University elected four seats in the Northern Irish parliament. I quite like the idea of our young, educated minds representing the hearts and minds of the people. Or am I just being romantic?