Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Royal Belfast Academical Institution, or Inst., occupies an eight acre site in the centre of Belfast. The eminent English architect John Soane, who designed the new Bank of England in 1788, drew up plans for the school in 1809 and its foundation stone was laid in July 1810. The building was formally opened at 1.00pm on 1 February 1814.
Money was collected to pay for the buildings by encouraging rich merchants and businessmen to subscribe one hundred guineas each for the privilege of being able to nominate one boy to receive free education at Inst.
Speaking at its opening, William Drennan said that the aim of the school was to 'diffuse useful knowledge, particularly among the middling orders of society, as a necessity, not a luxury of life.' He also referred to the particularly noble and rural setting of the school - in front a fair and flourishing town, and backed by a sublime and thought-inspiring mountain.
In the early days boys could choose which 'schools' they wanted to attend within Inst. If a boy attended all the schools his education was likely to cost £12 a year. In May 1814 the number of boys attending schools was as
Until the middle of the 19th Century Inst. fulfilled the role of both a school and a university. The collegiate (university) part of Inst. opened in November 1815. An important 'school' within the collegiate department trained ministers for the Presbyterian Church. The collegiate Department was closed in October 1849, although the Inst. Medical School continued until 1862.
Among the many renowned pupils to have passed through Royal Belfast Academical Institution was Thomas Andrews (born 1873), the Chief Designer of RMS Titanic and nephew to Lord William Pirrie, the owner of Harland and Wolff shipyard. He went down with the vessel when it sank after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912.
Erected by the City of Belfast.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Education • Science & Medicine. A significant historical date for this entry is February 1, 1814.
Location. 54° 35.831′ N, 5° 56.1′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Marker is at the intersection of College Square East (Northern Ireland Route A1)
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wellington Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Lord Kelvin OM (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Maginn (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Barney Hughes (about 120 meters away); Presbyterian Assembly Building (about 120 meters away); Howard Street (about 150 meters away); Donegall Square North (about 210 meters away); Thomas Russell (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfast.
Also see . . . The Royal Belfast Academical Institution: History, Aims & Ethos. (Submitted on May 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 104 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.