Report - - Crumlin Road Courthouse, Belfast, Northern Ireland, December 2018 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Crumlin Road Courthouse, Belfast, Northern Ireland, December 2018


28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The Crumlin Road Courthouse was designed by the architect (and one-time Lord Mayor of Belfast) Charles Lanyon and completed in 1850, at a cost of £16,500. It was built in the Neo-Palladian classical style. The courthouse underwent significant alterations and additions by Young and Mackenzie in 1905

Courthouse back in its heyday:

Crum Courthouse 2 by HughieDW, on Flickr

It is situated just across the road from the Crumlin Road Gaol and is linked to it by an underground passage. Thousands of republicans and loyalists were tried in the courthouse during the Troubles. Among them was Mr Ervine, now P.U.P. leader and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. He was convicted in his early 20s, when he was stopped by the security forces in a car containing a bomb. He was released from jail in 1980.

Sinn Fein’s Martin Meehan has had five High Court trials here. In December 1971, he escaped from the jail after spending six-and-a-half hours down a man-hole covered in butter to keep out the cold. In the early 1980s, the courthouse was the scene of a number of infamous supergrass trials, many of which collapsed amid concerns about the credibility of the evidence. And in one 1983 case, 22 IRA suspects were jailed for a total of 4,000 years. Other trials, involving some of Northern Ireland's most horrific cases, including the Shankill Butchers' trial were held here.

The courthouse closed in June 1998, after 150 years of continual usage. It was sold to local investor Barry Gilligan in September 2003 for £1. His plans for the courthouse included redeveloping it as a tourist attraction and a hotel but these plans never progressed. Planning permission was previously granted in 2004 to convert it into offices, and then in 2007 to a 161-bedroom hotel but these never materialised.

On 12th March 2009, the courthouse suffered very significant damage in a fire and a series of further fires in August 2009 caused further massive damage to the structure, prompting questions into the cause and leaving the future of the building in question.

Despite its current state, the courthouse remains one of Northern Ireland's best-known listed buildings and has been derelict for 17 years. In March 2017, Lawrence Kenwright, from the Signature Living Group, bought the site and announced plans to develop the listed building into a 60-bedroom hotel, and committed himself to spending £25m on the dilapidated courthouse.

2. The Explore
Well – not a ‘real’ explore to be honest. Just a walk round the perimeter. Was gagging to go inside but just wasn’t practical in the middle of the day. If it didn’t have such a fantastic façade I wouldn’t have bothered doing a report. But it does, so I have. There are a number of reports on 28DL from circa 2008 before the fire of 2009. It was a regular explore for many urbexers that found themselves in Belfast. These fantastic reports by Rookinella from June 2008 HERE and Slinky2000 also from 2008 HERE give you an idea of what a fab place this was. Understandably just about all reports appear to end post-March 2009.

3. The Pictures

img0201 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0195 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0194 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0193 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looks like the scales of justice are long gone!

img0192 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0191 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0189 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0186 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0181 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0180 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0179 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0177 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0176 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0173 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0172 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0170 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0203bwleo by HughieDW, on Flickr

And a couple of the tunnel that goes under the Crumlin Road, linking prison with courthouse. There are now part of the Gaol which is a tourist attraction:

img0211 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img0212 by HughieDW, on Flickr
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The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Had a wanderer around the outside myself a couple of months ago, again a bit busy. They had closed the gates on the Peace Wall when I wanted to head back to the Falls Road due to remembrance parade, ended up being a long walk, but got to see some murals off the beaten track.


grumpy sod
Regular User
This was the first derelict building I ever took a photo of, when I was over there on a school trip in 2008. We were on a coach tour of Belfast and as soon as I saw it I was stunned. Still love the building to this day.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
This was the first derelict building I ever took a photo of, when I was over there on a school trip in 2008. We were on a coach tour of Belfast and as soon as I saw it I was stunned. Still love the building to this day.
Wow! Good way to open your account...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This place has been in an arson attack today. Lokks like a nice building as well, shame it has gone to rack and ruin.

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