Northern Ireland

Belfast Harbour: 400 years of history

Belfast is 400 years old. On 27 April 1613, King James I signed a charter authorising the establishment of a small quay in the town. From that day - through the work of merchants, business barons and generations of workers - Belfast has grown from an insignificant muddy landing place into a modern, world-class seaport.

At one time, the Harland & Wolff shipyard was a global colossus. The jewel in the company's crown was RMS Titanic - advertised in 1912 as the largest and safest steamer in the world.

Alf McCreary, the author of Titanic Port with exclusive access to the Belfast Harbour Commissioners' archive, describes the colourful evolution of this key port.

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Images courtesy of Belfast Harbour Commissioners, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast Telegraph, Royal Collection and Getty Images. All images are subject to copyright.

Audio slideshow production by Alison Finch.

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Belfast Harbour