The restoration of Carlisle Memorial Church roof, Belfast

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The restoration of Carlisle Memorial Church roof, Belfast

In early 2015, LBS supplied 27,000 new Westmorland Green Roofing Slates for the re-slating of the historic Carlisle Memorial Church in North Belfast. The distinctive Grey/Green hue of the Westmorland slate is now once again visible on completed sections of the roof. It is, as far as we know, one of the largest Westmorland Green restoration projects, in Ireland, in the last ten years.

CarlisleMemorialMethodistChurchOne of Belfast’s most imposing buildings, the neo-gothic style church was completed in 1875, and was once home to one of Belfast’s largest Methodist congregations before demographic shifts in the area, the troubles, and the building of the M1 motorway saw its numbers decline. Following some repair work to its Sandstone exterior in 1966, it sadly closed its doors for the final time in 1982.

Carlisle Memorial Church was put on the World Monument Fund Watch list in 2010 – the first building in Belfast to have this accolade. It was subsequently acquired by the Belfast Building Trust in 2011, and the following year emergency repairs were carried out to halt its decline. Following the completion of the 2015 restoration work the building is designated to be used, in the interim, as a space for local youth training and development. It is envisaged that the space will be developed as a hospitality training centre by 2020, in partnership with the Horatio Group, and with £300k of additional funding from the Department of the Environment.

Built by talented local architect W.H. Lynn, the church took only 3 years to complete. Lynn worked on many other well-known historic buildings in Belfast in his lifetime. After spending a brief spell working in Canada, he returned to Ireland, where he continued to actively work for many years, and was awarded a prize for his extension to Queen’s University Belfast in 1910 – well into his 80s.

Project Architect: Hall Black Douglas (Belfast)
Roofing: Valley Roofing Ltd
Westmorland Green: supplied by LBS / (Burlington Stone UK)
Belfast Building Trust: £875k funding

LBS are the sole agent for Westmorland slate in Ireland – if you have a project that you would like us to quantify please get in touch