I was out for a cycle along the lagan river this afternoon and whilst the towpath could hardly be described as “Hidden Belfast” it really is idyllic on a sunny day. Even on this well trodden path however lurk hidden gems.
This old lock keepers cottage has only been recently restored and sadly has limited opening hours, so this was my first time inside. The Cottage was originally owned by the Kilpatrick family being built in the 1880’s. While the last “lighter” Barge went down the Lagan in 1958 Mr Kilpatrick the last lock keeper stayed on as a groundskeeper. His daughter then stayed on in the property until as late as 1993.
It’s a tiny two room house with a low ceiling just above 6ft. A ladder gives access to the upstairs where 10 children slept at one time. The fire acting as a cooker/heater and the second room as the bedroom for parents as well as a parlour or “good room” for guests.
A careful restoration has retained the atmosphere of the cottage without it feeling twee and manufactured. It really brought home how much life has changed in Belfast in the Last 50 years.
The cottage is open 11-12 and 2-3 Tuesday and Thursday.
You can see more about the van and Attridge and Cole in general @ www.attridgeandcole.com/