Clifton House is regarded as one of Belfast’s finest Georgian buildings. It was built in 1774 by The Belfast Charitable Society and was used until the late 1880′s as Belfast’s Poor House. Although the Dublin architect Thomas Cooley was consulted on the design, the drawings were prepared by the London architect Robert Mylne and the plans for the actual building were drawn up by the local newspaper publisher and prominent Belfast citizen, Robert Joy. Joy’s designs replaced Mylne’s proposed dome and lantern with an octagonal stone tower and spire which rise from the centre of the building mimicking the form of a Palladian country house.

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