The Ulster-Scots Hub and the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre

Ulster-Scots Agency - HubA new Ulster-Scots Hub and Discover Ulster-Scots Centre was opened on 27 November 2014 at the Corn Exchange building at the Victoria Street / Gordon Street corner in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, providing a one-stop shop for all things Ulster-Scots.

The Ulster-Scots Hub – for the Ulster-Scots Agency, the Ulster-Scots Community Network, the Ulster-Scots Language Society, the Ulster-Scots Library and Archive and the Ulster-Scots Academy Ministerial Advisory Group all now in the one building – is at 31 Gordon Street.

PHSI at Ulster-Scots HubThe Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, its public entrance on Victoria Street, has an exhibition area highlighting the many ways in which Ulster-Scots culture, history, heritage and language has shaped Ireland and the province of Ulster in particular. The exhibition covers various themes including the Hamilton/Montgomery settlement in North Down, the 1798 Rebellion, American Presidents with Ulster-Scots connections, and the arrival of Presbyterians in Ulster.

Details of a number of organisations with Ulster-Scots connections are on display including the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland.

Why not drop in to view the exhibition in the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre at the Corn Exchange, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast.

And there’s more…

The Ulster-Scot – January 2015 edition (PDF, 24MB)

Visit Belfast: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre

Cathedral Quarter – a visitor guide to its historic buildings (PDF, 5MB)


The Bush that Burned – New Edition of a Presbyterian Novel

by Lydia Mary Foster (Author), edited by Derek Rowlinson with an introduction by Dr Colin Walker. The Bush That BurnedThis novel is more than just the story of young Oliver Whiteside leaving the family farm in Co. Tyrone to study for the ministry.  It is an invaluable record of the essence of Irish Presbyterianism in day to day life as experienced by regular ministers and members of their congregations during the mid-19th Century.  It also provides a wealth of words and expressions used by the ordinary folk of that time which add great charm and humour to the book. First published in 1931, this third, annotated edition published in 2015, includes an Introduction by Dr Colin Walker, footnotes to the text, and a glossary of words and phrases to enhance the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the work. A Kindle Edition is also available.


PHSI Lecture: James McAlpin

Banbridge Non-Sunscribing Presbyterian Churchon Thursday, 19 February 2015 at 8.00pm.

in Banbridge Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church,
Downshire Road, Banbridge, Co. Down, BT32 3JY

by the Rev Dr David Steers
on James McAlpin, the founder of Killyleagh Philosophy School, c.1696.

The lecture will concentrate on McAlpin’s role as an educator and the place of the Killyleagh Philosophy School as a training school for those intending to go into the ministry.

Banbridge Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church

Location of BNSPC

View the locality on Google Maps Street View

See more about the Killyleagh Philosophy School on the Dissenting Academies Online website.

An article by David Steers, published in Familia Vol. 28 – 2012 available from BooksIreland – ‘The Very Life-Blood of Nonconformity is Education’ – The Killyleagh Philosophy School, County Down



Celebrated Citizens: Mary Ann McCracken

Linen Hall Library - LogoLinen Hall Library Event –

Celebrated Citizens: Mary Ann McCracken

– on Thursday 12 February 2015 at 6.00 pm.

Mary Ann McCracken, a social reformer, author, businesswoman, radical and founder of the Belfast Harp Society among other things, was born in 1770 into a Presbyterian family and died in 1866.

These may be of interest also…

From the BBC Your Place & Mine Archive: The History of Rosemary Street

The Ulster-Scots Agency’s Teachers Booklet 2



The Presbyterians Arrive in Holywood



‘Celebrating 400 years of Presbyterian Worship’

The Presbyterians Arrive In Holywood

Visit First Holywood Presbyterian Church website



Symposium: The Contribution of Ulster-Scots



Political Thought in Ireland: the Contribution of Ulster-Scots
Thursday 22 January 2015,
9.30am – 5pm

School of Sociology and Social Policy
Queen’s University Belfast
6 College Park
Belfast BT7 1LP

See the Symposium Details for more information.

See the Ulster-Scots Agency post about the Symposium.



West Church Ballymena – ‘’A Church of the Revival’

One of the effects of the 1859 Revival was the building of new churches to accommodate the growing number of people joining Presbyterian churches, especially in the area where the Revival began. One of the churches that grew out of that Revival was West Church in Ballymena. The accommodation in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church (or 3rd Ballymena) was no longer adequate so it was decided, after much debate, to build a new church which opened in 1863.

A Church of Revival - West Church BallymenaWest Church Ballymena ‘A Church of the Revival’

A new history of the congregation has just been compiled by Jennifer McLernon and Maurice Livingstone that documents the early beginnings of the church, the developments during the period of each of the church’s ministers, as well as chapters on the church’s involvement with the community, on the church and young people and on the various other organisations.

Copies of the history can be obtained from the West Church Office by e-mailing
(The cost is £10.00 plus £1.50 for UK postage and packaging – subject to confirmation.)
West Church Office – telephone: (028) 2564 8327
(Office Hours – Tuesday to Friday, 9am-2pm.)

View the Website of West Church, Ballymena.




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