St Malachy’s Christian Brothers’ School, Oxford Street, Belfast


The Christian Brothers and the Order Of The Phoenix

St Malachy’s school opened on the banks of the Lagan in 1874. When a well-to-do lady called Margaret Magill died, she left a sum of £2,400 to the Christian Brothers, on the instruction that they would set up a school to teach the children of the barge-men who worked on the Lagan. It was designed by Alexander MacAllister, a leading architect in Victorian Belfast.

I can’t find out a lot about Mrs Magill, other than that she may have been from Bangor, wasn’t short of a penny, and seems to have been a bit of a philanthropist.

The school closed in the 1960s, by which time the population was much too big for its two classrooms to accommodate. It was recently a solicitor’s office, and now it is vacant.

It’s Oxford Street’s answer to Harry Potter’s Order of the Phoenix HQ. It has the feeling of having erupted up magically between its neighbours.

I’m always attracted by it when I pass. Maybe if Mrs McGill’s great-great-great-great granddaughter reads this, she’ll buy it for me. It would be a handy spot to live in!

This entry was posted in Belfast, City sights, Ireland, Walking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to St Malachy’s Christian Brothers’ School, Oxford Street, Belfast

  1. Thanks for following!

  2. geordy austin says:

    Thank you ,my grandfather “allegedly went to this school.Where can I find the registrar for the pupils who attended there from around 1880 until 1900.Thanks again

  3. Donna Boyce says:

    My dad attended this school from 1923-1929 and my Granddad was a boatman on the Lagan. It looks a lovely old building!

    • Geordy austin says:

      Donna Hi. I was often told that my Grandfather Magees family and he lived and worked on a barge on the river Lagan and that he went to the CB Oxford St.He was born in the 1880s.Do you have any more info on on the “BOAT” people who worked on lived around that area.Thanks .Take care

      • Donna says:

        Yes I do Geordy. My Grandad was born around same time and his name was Tom Boyce. If you google Belfast waterworks there is information there. Will send link later . Regards Donna

      • Geordy austin says:

        Thank you Donna.Im originally from Belfast,Carrick Hill which is now Unity flats.I’ve been in the States since 1980 .I will check the Waterworks site.Thank you

      • donna brooks says:

        Hi Geordy

        This link may help:

        My Dad was from Belfast but I haven’t ever been there. Really like researching history though!

        kind regards


        Waterworks – Belfast City Council The park is home to the Waterworks multi-sports facility. It also includes a community garden, where local volunteers grow their own fruit and vegetables and two …


      • Geordy austin says:

        Donna hi.Belfast is a great city.May I ask what part of Belfast your dad was from and where do you live now.Thank you.Take care.

  4. Robert Monaghan says:

    I attended there 1959 to 1965. Mrs Clarke, Mr Shields, Br Finn, Mr Bradley and Br Beausang.

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