Crumlin Road Gaol and St Lucia Site

The Crumlin Road Gaol was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon and was constructed between 1843 and 1845.

Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast

The Department for Infrastructure is seeking expressions of interest from all parties interested in regenerating / occupying single, multiple, or the entirety of the vacant Cottage’s at Crumlin Road Gaol on a leasehold basis. Further details can be found at: Expression of Interest - Crumlin Road Gaol Cottages


Crumlin Road Gaol (before)

Crumlin Road Gaol (before)
Crumlin Road Gaol (before)
The Gaol ceased operating a prison on 31 March 1996.  All structures within the Gaol walls and the walls themselves are A Listed Structures.  The Former Warders Cottages located outside the boundary walls are Grade B Listed Structures.

Since 2003 Government has invested over £17million to repair, remediate, restore, and re-establish the historic Crumlin Road Gaol as a significant public and tourism site for Belfast. The aim is for the Gaol to be a driver to encourage economic, cultural and community benefits in North Belfast and beyond.

Regenerating Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin Road Gaol (after)
Crumlin Road Gaol (after)
The former Gatehouse, Governor’s Corridor and C Wing were restored and transformed into now international known Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre as the first phase of breathing new life into this extensive site.


Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre

Today the Gaol is a multi-use venue hosting conferences, concerts, exhibitions, events and daily tours and employs over 70 staff.  The site is also used as a film set and for hosting competitions and civic events.  

Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor and Conference Centre
Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor and Conference Centre
Since the Visitor Attraction & Conference Centre, operated by Belfast Tours Ltd, opened to the public on 19 November 2012, over one million people have visited the site for a tour or to attend an event. Cuff's Bar & Grill, a fully licensed restaurant opened in 2016. 

The Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre was awarded the prestigious ***** visitor attraction rating in January 2017 as an attraction operating to an "outstanding" standard.  Their historic education programme "A Day in the life of a Victorian Child Prisoner" received the Sandford Award for excellence in provision of heritage education.

A Wing development

Belfast Distillery Company Ltd. anticipate recommencing work in 2020 to create a Boutique Distillery and Whiskey Visitor Attraction in A Wing of the Gaol.  This attraction will present the history of the once famous “McConnell” Belfast-based whiskey brand and the whiskey-making process.  The company is working to be open to the public by 2021 and anticipates attracting over 100,000 visitors a year.

Crumlin Road Gaol development opportunities

Future Plans

DfI plans to build on this success by marketing the opportunity to develop other vacant premises on the Gaol site commencing with the Warden’s Cottages in 2020.

The Department will be seeking development proposals for the cottages to further enhance the site and contribute to employment and economic benefits as well as encouraging the development of better connections with the city centre and physical improvement in this area of north Belfast.

St Lucia Site Omagh

St Lucia is a former military base in Omagh gifted to the Executive under the Hillsborough Agreement 2010.  The walled Historic Core (consisting of a Parade Ground and administration and service buildings) currently remains in the ownership of the Ministry of Defence.  Work is on-going to identify the best approach for bringing St. Lucia back into active use.

If you have any queries on either Crumlin Road Gaol or the St Lucia site please contact the Crumlin Road Gaol and St Lucia Team.

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