Lost Boundary Posts
Description of chosen placeParliamentary and Municipal Boundary Post of Belfast, erected in 1918. This Boundary Post beside the Red Bridge on the Lagan Towpath is teetering on the edge of sliding into the River. It was uncovered in storms in 2022 when a collapsed tree tore away overgrowth that was hiding it. This is one example of many boundary posts across the city which have fallen into a neglected state. Many others have been removed through road widening or other construction. While listed monuments there is no practical care or protection of these important historical markers. The boundary posts were erected in 1918 to mark the boundaries of new municipal wards in Belfast which were created as a result of the widening of the franchise to include all adult men and the majority of adult women. They also represent the last election Ireland voted in as a whole island and many became defunct almost immediately afterwards as boundaries were redrawn once again in light of partition. Their symbolism as the markers of boundaries, long forgotten but whose surrounding events still impact us today, is evocative in a city that has been so heavily defined by the drawing and redrawing of boundaries. (A map and images of other known Boundary Posts in Belfast is available if desired. Or viewed in Instagram @belfast_boundary_posts)
What do you imagine the space could be?I would imagine this space, and those surrounding other boundary posts to be well kept and maintained, with boundary posts themselves being regularly maintained to preserve this important part of Belfast's heritage (the best example of what this could look like exists outside the shops at the junction of the Glen Road and the Gransha Road). It is also important for people to engage with built heritage and the proliferation of boundary posts across the city, and their presence in multiple communities, allow for those on public property to be the focal point of different campaigns highlighting heritage or other issues. This could involve decorating them in various ways to draw attention to commemorate various events or highlight issues or they could become the focal points for series of community events to be held in their vicinity.
Submitted byPeter Heaney
February 19, 2023