1887 – Orphan Training Home, Belfast, Co. Antrim

Architect: Young & Mackenzie,


Constructed by the Presbyterian Orphan Society, who supported orphans but also took a keen interest in trying to place them in good positions. This led to the foundation of the Johnston Memorial Orphan Training Home in 1887. This was to be for girls who would be trained for positions as domestic servants and in 1884 “40 orphan maidens applied for admission to the Home”. On 2 July 1887 the foundation stone was laid for the Home in Hopefield Avenue and the Home was opened in 1888, free of debt, built, furnished, enclosed, and grounds laid out at a cost of £4,193.3s.5d. The name changed in 1911 to the Johnston Memorial School, and after the Second World War II the School moved to Green Road.

“These buildings, now in course of erection are situated on Hopefield-avenue, a street to the Antrim road, Belfast. Access is obtained to the different floors by stone staircases opening n fireproof corridors, The materials used for the walling are best perforated red brick, with dressings of cut-stone, The cupola is covered with copper. The porch will be enriched with symbolic carving or a simple character. The builders are Messrs. Fitzpatrick, and the architects, Messrs. Young and Mackenzie, Belfast.” Published in The Irish Builder, October 15 1887.