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April 18, 2020

50 Amazing Photos Captured Everyday Life of Northern Ireland in the Late 19th Century

Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, Robert John Welch (1859-1936) was an Irish photographer interested in natural history, particularly mollusca. He was the son of an accomplished Scottish amateur photographer.

Welch specialized in outdoors photography and took thousands of photographs of the towns and scenery of Ireland. He was a skilled craftsman and his studies of Ireland and Irish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are today justly famous. A permanent exhibition at the Ulster Museum features twenty enlarged photographs of his works on the subject of travel and transport.

Welch was a member of the Royal Irish Academy as well as serving as president of both the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club and the Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland. In 1923, to recognize his work Queen's University Belfast awarded him an honorary Master of Science degree.

Welch was also hired by the shipyard Harland and Wolff to take photographs of the constructions of R.M.S. Olympic and R.M.S. Titanic.

These amazing photos from Public Record Office of Northern Ireland were taken by Robert John Welch that documented everyday life of Northern Ireland around 1888.

Belfast. High Street

A Holy Well in Northern Ireland

A view of Donaghadee from Fort

Antrim. Garron Tower, Coast Road

Antrim. View of Antrim Castle from the river

Ballintoy. A rock vista

Ballycastle. Quay Road

Belfast. Albert Memorial

Belfast. Cave Hill & Belfast Castle

Belfast. Donegall Place

Belfast. High Street

Belfast. Irish Mud Cabin at Bladon Park

Belfast. Linen Hall

Belfast. Presbyterian College

Belfast. Queens Bridge

Belfast. Queens University

Belfast. Royal Avenue

Belfast. View of Belfast from Methodist College

Browns Bay near Larne


Carrick-A-Rede & Larriban Cliffs

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus from East Pier

Carrickfergus. A Wading Party coming in

Carrickfergus. Old North Gate

Causeway Cottages. (Widow Laverty telling tales of Finn McCool)

Children building another moat in the sand

Crawfordsburn House

Donaghadee Mound

Giant's Causeway. Kanes Royal Hotel

Giant's Causeway. Lord Antrims Parlour

Giant's Causeway. Portcoon Cave

Giant's Causeway. The Giants Fan

Giant's Causeway. The Giants Honeycomb

Giants Well

Glenariffe from above Ess-Na-Crub

Glenariffe. “Black Waterfall”

Glenariffe. The meeting of the waters

Glenarm Bay. Harbour & Garron Point

Glenarm Castle. Barbican Bridge

Glenarm Castle

Glenarm. A View of Glenarm

Irish Country Life. Carrying home the Turf

Larne. Glenoe

Larne. Glenoe

Larne. The "Tree waterfall", Ballyrudder

Larne. The "Tree waterfall", Ballyrudder

North Antrim Coast. East End of WhiteParks Bay

Straidkilly & Carnlough

Stream in Glenarm Glen


  1. holy shit
    actual vintage photos on for a change
    what a nice surprise
    the rest of it the last month or two can blow but this is nice

  2. These are really beautiful photos, thank you so much for sharing these!!! J




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