Belfast City Cemetery location and opening hours
511 Falls Road
Junction of Whiterock Road.
City Cemetery opening hours
|Monday to Saturday
||8am to 4pm
||10am to 4pm
City Cemetery visitor centre opening hours
|Tuesday to Saturday
||9.30am to 1.30pm
City Cemetery office opening hours
|Monday and Tuesday
||8.30am to 4.30pm
|Wednesday to Friday
Every other Saturday
To check our office is open before you visit, call 028 9032 3112. Opening hours may vary during public holidays.
|8.30am to 12 noon
Bereavement Services Office
You can call us on 028 9027 0296. if you have a query about our cemeteries, email our Bereavement Services Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bereavement Services office opening hours
|Monday and Friday
||8.30am to 4pm
|Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
||9am to 4pm
||8.30am to 11am
How to get to the cemetery
The cemetery is served by Glider route G1 in the direction of McKinstry Road which passes the front gate of the cemetery.
Black taxis, departing from the Castle Junction depot at 35a King Street, also pass by the front of the cemetery.
There is no car parking available.
There is a good network of paths available but there are some gradients within the cemetery. Disabled toilet facilities are also available.
City Cemetery at a glance
Belfast City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in Belfast.
It was purchased in 1866 by Belfast Corporation (now the council) and was officially opened on 1 August 1869 as the city's first municipal burial ground.
There are no new grave plots available in the cemetery, but burials still take place in existing graves. However, we only provide a grave burial service and do not offer natural burials in the cemetery.
City Cemetery heritage project
With funding from the National Lottery's Heritage Fund, we are investing £2.8million to protect, enhance and promote the cemetery's rich heritage. The investment aims to transform how people view and use the cemetery.
To read about this work, go to City Cemetery Heritage Project.
Belfast City Cemetery visitor centre
As part of the City Cemetery heritage project, we opened a visitor centre in February 2023.
The centre has an interpretive exhibition, digital touchscreens, interactive features for children, and workstations to help people carry out genealogy searches of the 220,000 people buried in the cemetery. There are also indoor and outdoor educational spaces for schools and youth groups. Visitors can download a free app so they can take self-guided tours.
Belfast City Cemetery visitor centre opening hours
The visitor centre is open five days a week.
|Tuesday to Saturday
||9.30am to 1.30pm
Opening hours may vary during public holidays.
Plot Z1 Memorial
Following an engagement process with families, a permanent memorial at Plot Z1, also known as the ‘Baby Haven’, was unveiled at City Cemetery on Thursday 12 September 2019.
The memorial is in memory of 7,160 babies buried on site.
Representatives of the families involved in the design unveiled the memorial with stonemason Charlotte Howarth and the Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor John Finucane.
The unveiling was followed by a dedication service on site and refreshments in the Falls Park Bowling Pavilion (situated within Falls Park), Falls Road, BT12 6AN.
If you have any queries or need access assistance you can email email@example.com or call 028 9027 0690.
The cemetery provides an important insight into the history of Belfast. It is a recognised historical site and shows many fine examples of Victorian, Edwardian and Gothic revival architecture.
Approximately 225,153 people have been buried in the graveyard, including politicians, businessmen, inventors and industrialists.
One of the most well known graves in the cemetery is the plot of the Ulster Female Penitentiary. The Penitentiary, located in York Lane off Donegall Street and later at Brunswick Street, and the Ulster Magdalene Asylum were associations set up to rehabilitate women working in prostitution. Seven prostitutes are buried in this double grave, which is marked with a small cast-iron shield which bears the name of the Penitentiary.
A number of sections in the cemetery were used for the burial of the poor. These paupers' graves have no headstones or any other form of grave marker. There are many thousands of children buried in these sections, which hold 80,208 remains in total.
Land was first acquired for a Jewish burial ground within Belfast City Cemetery in January 1871. It was accessed via a separate entrance on Whiterock Road. Above the gate, which is now bricked up, you can still read the Hebrew inscription that marked this area of the cemetery. Translated, it means 'the house of life' or 'house of the living'. The area also contained a small Tahara, similar to a synagogue or chapel, which was destroyed by vandals in the 1970s.
Written in Stone - the History of Belfast City Cemetery by Tom Hartley
Written in Stone tells the stories of the men and women who lie at rest in Belfast's first municipal burial ground, which officially opened on 1 August 1869. It contains information about the architectural diversity of the various plots and tombs, personal details of those buried in the graveyard and suggestions for walking routes through the cemetery.
Some of Belfast's most famous figures are buried in Belfast City Cemetery.
- Vere Foster (1819 - 1900) - champion of the poor in Ireland, especially in relation to education
- Margaret Byers (died February 1912) - pioneer of women's education in Belfast and principal of Victoria College
- Margaret M Pirrie (died June 1935) – wife of Viscount Pirrie and financial supporter of the Royal Victoria Hospital
- Sir William Whitla (1851-1933) - a leading physician and former pro-Vice Chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast
- Sam Thompson (1916-1965) - playwright and author of Over The Bridge
- Rinty Monaghan (died 1984) - first Irish boxer to be honoured by the Boxing Hall of Fame
- Florence Lewis (died August 1908) - mother of author CS Lewis
- Daniel Joseph Jaffe (died 1871) - prominent linen merchant who built the first synagogue in Belfast
- Sir Edward Harland (1830-1895) - MP for north Belfast between 1886 and 1895 and co-founder of the shipbuilding company
- Viscount Pirrie (1847-1924) - apprenticed to Harland and Wolff shipbuilders and associated with the building of the Titanic
- Sir Robert Baird (1855-1934) - owner of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper for 48 years.
Other well known citizens buried in the cemetery include Sir Robert Anderson (co-owner of the Anderson and McAuley department store), WH Lynn (architect of many of Belfast's most prominent buildings) and tobacco merchant Thomas Gallaher.