Despite its tiny population and limited geographical area, Ulster has produced an astonishing number of world renowned figures who have distinguished themselves in the arts, literature, academia, medicine, science, industry, the military and other callings.
Poets, writers and broadcasters; artists, engineers and shipbuilders; sportsmen, playwrights, musicians and singers; teachers, soldiers; philanthropists; politicians and patriots; architects, academics and scientists; physicians; inventors; historians - and more. Some were born here, some lived or worked here, and over the last 30 years, to honour their memory and achievements, the Ulster History Circle has erected Blue Plaques at locations throughout Northern Ireland. The lives celebrated span almost seven centuries.
Blue Plaques are a universally recognised symbol celebrating men and women who have enriched the life of their communities and they are erected on buildings, many of which are a significant part of our architectural past.
The Blue Plaque Guide provides a list of the 115 plaques erected up to the end of 2009. Plaques are grouped by county with separate sections for Belfast and Derry. Maps show the location of each plaque and, coupled with a brief biography, help readers discover more about the people who have shaped our heritage.
The plaque is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the A.E. Harvey Trust.
Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle, said: “Our new Guide to Blue Plaques is an important part of the Ulster History Circle’s public outreach programme. The free easy-to-use Guide commemorates over one hundred achievers detailing Who they are, What they did, and Where their blue plaques can be found. It is available in public libraries, museums and tourist centres throughout the province.”
Professor Patrick Murphy, member of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Northern Ireland, said: “Bringing together 115 historical figures from across six centuries, the Blue Plaque Guide is a ‘who’s who’ of local heroes, whose contributions to the fields of science, politics, the arts and academia have not only shaped the world around us, but have helped to make us who we are today. The guide will help to raise awareness of these people and places of interest and we are delighted to be involved.”
The Ulster History Circle
Blue Plaques commemorate men and women, born in or associated with the province of Ulster, who have made a significant contribution to its history and development.