EXPLORING LISBURN ROAD IN BELFAST MARCH 2022
Lisburn Road is a main arterial route linking Belfast and Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
The Lisburn Road is now an extension of the “Golden Mile” with many shops, boutiques, wine bars, restaurants and coffee houses. The road runs almost parallel to the Malone Road, the two being joined by many side roads. It is a busy traffic route without much strong architectural character. Most of the housing is made up of red-brick terraces, some with alterations. Some buildings along the road, however, are considered to be architecturally important and interesting.
Lisburn Road itself begins at the nearby Bradbury Place and runs to Balmoral Avenue, beyond which it becomes Upper Lisburn Road. The Upper Lisburn Road extends south to reach Finaghy, at which point it becomes Kingsway and then in Dunmurry it becomes Queensway, before finally becoming the Belfast Road in Lisburn.
The first record of the development of the Lisburn Road was when a property developer offered land for development ‘West of the Lisburn Road’ on 6 April 1813. His advert was placed in The News Letter on that date. The track that initially existed here developed and expanded, until pressure grew for a faster turnpike road to Dublin, to avoid the Malone Road hills and valleys. During 1817–1819 this road improvement scheme was implemented. The post office and toll booth stood, conveniently, at Shaftesbury Square, and presumably served both turnpike roads. At the top of Tate’s Avenue, on the Lisburn Road side of the junction a second booth was in existence in 1857. One year later the toll business was abandoned, as the trains had taken over. Shopping habits have changed and the shopping population has moved from Shaftesbury Square, along the Lisburn Road.
Lisburn Road attracted shops and the nearby Malone Road was left residential. Queen’s University is nearby, and there are a high number of expensive shops and restaurants, most of which are located at the upper end of the road. The Belfast City Hospital and the Queen’s University Medical Biological Centre are also located on the road.