On 14 July 1792, the famous Belfast Harp festival was held in the Assembly Rooms. Ten harpists, most of them blind, took part in this celebration of the fall of the Bastille prison in Paris that had taken place three years earlier.
The Exchange was built in 1769 as a single-storey, arcaded Market House funded by a donation of £4000 from the Earl of Donegall as a celebration of the birth of his son, George Augustus.
In 1776, again at the request of the Earl, an upper storey which became known as the Assembly Rooms was added.
In 1845, the building was converted into a bank and the exterior was refaced in stucco to a design by Sir Charles Lanyon.
Do you want to learn more about the history of Belfast? Let me take you on my people and places tour!