Thursday 30 April 2020

Ulster Historical Foundation moves to new premises

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has moved to a new location on the outskirts of Newtownards, Co Down, close to the northern tip of Strangford Loch and about 10 miles or 20 minutes drive from Belfast where the organisation has been based since it was formed in 1956 as an integral part of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

It continued its presence in the capital after becoming a separate educational non-profit organisation in 1988, and was most recently located in Gordon Street, just a stone's throw from the city's leaning Albert Clock.

Bradley Thallon House, the UHF's new home.
Now, for the first time in its history, the UHF has a self-contained home.

Its new 305sqm premises are on the Kiltonga Estate, just off the main (Belfast) road, so extremely convenient for car drivers and with good public transport links. It also has a good sized dedicated car park with 16 spaces, which is quite the bonus for those accustomed to spending time navigating one-way city traffic systems trying to find street parking not too far from the office, or paying through the nose for multi-storey parking.

UHF Research Officer Gillian Hunt told Irish Genealogy News she is "busting to start working there" because, although the move took place nearly two months ago, the main physical relocation was on the day before she and UHF Executive Director Fintan Mullan took off on the organisation's annual US lecture tour; by the time they returned, Northern Ireland was in lockdown and working from home was the new normal.

"The building has so much potential," says Gillian. "While there's plenty of space for all the admin and general office functions on the ground floor, there's a huge open plan room with a vaulted ceiling on the first floor and this gives us so many options. This will be our new Genealogy Hub, with space for our library of books, research files and newspapers, and we'll be able to present lectures and classes there, too. We may also be able to host meetings and events for our Guild members, which is something we haven't done for quite a while due to lack of space in previous offices." You can almost hear her designing the layout as she speaks!

The new address is: Bradley Thallon House, Unit 44D, Kiltonga Estate, Belfast Road, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23 4TJ and the unchanged phone number is 028 9066 1988.