Day 252

8 Sep

Many properties across Northern Ireland opened their doors to the public today as part of European Heritage Open Days. Organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, this enables people to check out some of the beautiful and diverse architecture and heritage around the country they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see.

Amongst the buildings opened for the public to explore was Northern Ireland’s only First Church of Christ Scientist. The building straddles University Avenue and Rugby Road, situated just behind Queen’s University. What makes it such a unique building is that it was designed by renowned Welsh architect Clough William-Ellis, who is perhaps best known for creating the Italianate village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd, Wales, where the cult TV show The Prisoner was filmed.

The church has recently been put up for sale as the congregation has dwindled in recent years and the deceptively labyrinthine building has just become too big for their needs. It dates back to 1923, while the main building designed by Mr William-Ellis was completed in 1937. The site also boasts a little two-bedroom caretaker’s house and garden.

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