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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1880 - 1899

Address :
J Braddell and Sons Ltd 11 North Street Belfast BT1 1NA

Town Parks

Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
01/09/2011 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
Shop - Terrace

Former Use
Shop - Terrace

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J3390 7450

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

Three storey with double attic, single bay, three window wide red brick gabled shop built c.1890 and located to the east side of North Street in the centre of Belfast. Rectangular on plan facing south-west. Pitched and hipped natural slate roof with large cast iron light; valley gutters with square cast-iron downpipes. Walling to front facade is English garden wall bond with terracotta and sandstone detailing. Windows are segmental timber casement with overlight and red sandstone cills unless otherwise noted. Principal south-west elevation ground floor has traditionally designed modern timber shop-front with two square-headed openings flanked by fluted pilasters on tall panelled bases. Square opening on right comprises timber panelled stall riser with three light shop window divided by circular mullions into arched panes. Square opening on left is deeply recessed with timber panelling and contains two doors; that to left is timber panelled; that to right is angled and has two bottom timber panels, single glazed top panel and plain rectangular overlight. Openings have timber panels over that conceal steel roller shutters. Main fascia over with individually raised lettering flanked by red sandstone console brackets and red sandstone cornice above. Three equally spaced window with bull nosed arrises to first and second floors. Those to second floor have cill course with moulded foliate terracotta string course below and continuous drip moulding above. Attic floor has single central arched window opening as before with corbelled brickwork below cill flanked by rectangular terracotta foliate panels centred on windows below. Moulded brick string course at impost level forms drip moulding over arch with intricate terracotta keystone surmounted by square terracotta panel with circular inset detail and foliate moulding. Corbelled parapet gable over with sandstone coping, kneelers and ball finials. South-east elevation is abutted entirely by adjoining building. North-west elevation is abutted entirely by adjoining building. Rear north-east elevation is abutted at ground floor by flat roofed extension and at right on first floor by small return with lean-to roof sloping down from right to left. Exposed section has red brick English garden wall bond walling with a single window opening to first floor, two openings to second floor and a single window opening to attic floor. Setting The building is located on the east side of North Street in the centre of Belfast with buildings on both sides and temporary car park on vacant site to rear. Roof: Natural slate Walling Brick Window: Timber RWG: Cast-iron


Not Known

Historical Information

There is a building on the site on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Edition OS maps making it difficult to discern when the current building first appears. However Patton suggests that it was built c1890. In the mid 19th century North Street was home to numerous small businesses from shoemakers and publicans to tallow chandlers and umbrella makers. The Ulster Streets Directory of 1880 notes London & Counties Tea Co, Saml. Cheetham, manager as the occupier of a premises at 11 North Street but by 1901 J. Adams, an oil & colour merchant who had been recorded as the occupier of 7 North Street in 1880, was now noted as the occupier and registered as a glass and colour merchant. This may indicate that a new and improved building was constructed in the intervening time and that Mr Adams decided to move into a more modern premises whilst remaining on North Street. In March 1988, J Braddell & Sons Ltd. moved into the premises where they had two large sales floors, workshop and storage areas which made it probably the largest field sports shop in Ireland, with in the region of 400 rods on display at any one time. Joseph Braddell and his son came from County Donegal to the city of Belfast in 1811 where they set up a business to make and supply sports equipment for the gentry. The first premises were in Castle Place next door to the Ulster Club, convenient to their intended customers. As well as the shop there were five workshops equipped with the most up-to-date machinery powered by their own 15hp engine. There were up to twenty men employed manufacturing the “Ulster Bulldog” revolver, shotguns, fishing rods and golf clubs which were exported world-wide. After the death of Joseph Braddell the business was taken over by Colonel Charles Playfair, the son of a noted Birmingham gunmaker. In 1890, William James Clarke joined the firm as a junior salesman, later becoming manager. In 1915, W.J.Clarke, with the financial assistance of two wealthy customers, bought over the shooting and fishing section of the business and moved to Arthur Square. Another employee, John Knox, took over the golf and other sports sections and opened a shop in Upper Donegall Street. The manufacture of guns and golf clubs ceased after this move although guns bearing the name of Braddell were made by Midland Gun Company and J.W.Tolley. The business continued through the Second World War and the Clarke brothers worked together until 1970 when Bobby Clarke retired. In 1975 they moved to larger premises at 9 North Street which gave more space for display of a larger stock. In April 1982 the business changed ownership, the proprietor of a similar business in Royal Avenue, Belfast, took over. The shop was enlarged and the display areas refinished. After operating as two separate companies for a number of years Braddells and Rankins merged, in March 1988, and moved into larger premises at 11 North Street. The premises is still occupied by J Braddell & Sons Ltd, suppliers of fishing tackle, guns and accessories. References: Primary Sources 1. First Edition OS Map (1833) 2. Second Edition OS Map (1860) 3. Third Edition OS Map (1938 revision) Secondary Sources 1. Patton, Marcus. "Central Belfast A Historical Gazetteer." Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1993, p.245 2. 3.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form I. Quality and survival of Interior

Historic Interest

X. Local Interest


Three storey with double attic single bay three window wide red brick gabled shop built c.1890. Of note for the survival of its timber and cast-iron frame construction. Most of its detailing survives as original and its gabled elevation is unusual. One of the few remaining buildings on North Street built in the 19th century for a small business when the street was a thriving location for many such enterprises. It is a good and intact representative of a type that is fast disappearing from towns throughout the Province.

General Comments

Within Cathedral Conservation Area ref listing query HB26/LQ222

Date of Survey

12 November 2010