History

The National Trust at Minnowburn

Minnowburn Beeches in the 1964 National Trust booklet for Northern Ireland © National Trust

Minnowburn Beeches in the 1964 National Trust booklet for Northern Ireland

The National Trust first became involved at Minnowburn in June 1945, when the Minnowburn Beeches, the famous stand of trees alongside the Ballylesson Road at Shaw's Bridge, came under threat when a felling permit was applied for to allow building. As the Shaw's Bridge was a well established retreat and walking destination for Belfast, the National Trust stepped in to buy the ten acres surrounding the trees and protect this special area from development. But there was a twist in the tale - with funds within the Trust unavailable and pleas to local Malone Road residents unsuccessful, out of the blue a local philanthropist Bennett Sergie offered the full amount of £1,400, equivalent to about £45,000 today. Unfortunately, before the Trust could purchase the land, Bennett Sergie took his own life. However the publicity his offer had generated meant that the felling was delayed and the National Trust eventually acquired the Beeches in 1952, with help from the Ulster Land Fund. As further land became available around the Beeches, the Trust took the opportunity to further protect the area, purchasing an adjoining field of 17 acres in 1962 and when the owner of Terrace Hill applied for planning permission to build houses on their property, fearful that the development would spoil the surrounding area, a further 100 acres were purchased, again with a grant from the Ulster Land Fund, bringing the property to the size that it is today.

Geology and Ancient History

The Giant's Ring Henge with burial chamber © Henry Clark at Flickr.com

The Giant's Ring Henge with burial chamber

The site in and around the Minnowburn area has a fascinating geological history.

Lagan Navigation

Pleasure boating at Shaw's Bridge © Minnowburn, National Trust

Pleasure boating at Shaw's Bridge

In 1756 the Commissioners of Inland Navigation for Ireland began work on the Lagan Navigation.

Terrace Hill

The original Terrace Hill House was demolished in the 1930s © Minnowburn, National Trust

The original Terrace Hill House was demolished in the 1930s

Terrace Hill house is at the centre of Minnowburn and overlooks the Lagan Valley. The original Terrace Hill was built about 1856.

Edenderry

Edenderry was built for linen mill workers © Colin Barrett

Edenderry was built for linen mill workers

Situated on the bank of the Lagan, on the edge of the Minnowburn property is Edenderry, a village born of Belfast’s famous linen industry.

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