Stranmillis (from Irish an Sruthán Milis, meaning "the sweet stream") is an area in south Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is also an electoral ward for Belfast City Council, part of the Laganbank district electoral area. As part of the Queen's Quarter, it is the location for prominent attractions such as the Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens and is popular among tourists. The area is located on the Stranmillis Road, with the Malone Road to the west and the River Lagan to the east.
Stranmillis Road breaks away from the Malone Road at the Ulster Independent Clinic, arches round eastwards toward the Lagan before rejoining the Malone Road. The north of the road is the area most popular with students and young professionals, with many shops and restaurants, the south of the road is mainly housing.
The Malone and Stranmillis Historic Urban landscape was in 2010 added to the tentative list of sites proposed for addition to the List of World Heritage Sites of the United Kingdom as an area of architectural interest featuring examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
In total the road is about 2.5 km (about 1.5 miles) long, forms part of the city’s Queen's or University Quarter, and is popular among tourists with many restaurants and coffee shops. Several well-known Belfast landmarks are located in the area including the main gate to the Botanic Gardens, a 28 acres (113,000 m2) public park opened in 1828, including some rare species in the iconic Palm House. Northern Ireland’s largest museum, the Ulster Museum is situated adjacent to the park and has been located in Stranmillis since 1929. The museum closed in 2007 for extensive renovation and reopened in October 2009, eighty years to the day since the original opening. Within a month over 100,000 people had visited the museum.
Queen’s University and Stranmillis College
Stranmillis is quite a popular place among students, and is seen as more "up-market" than the Holylands which are located on the other side of the Botanic Gardens, and have become infamous for anti-social behavior among students and, in recent times, among full-time residents.
The northern end of the road is only seconds away from the main building of Queen’s University, the Lanyon Building, while several other prominent university buildings are located on the road itself, including the dominating David Keir Building, the multi-story Ashby Building, while the University’s Physical Education Centre is located close to the river and adjacent to the Botanic Gardens. Stranmillis University College, a constituent college of Queen’s established in 1922, is located at the midway point of the road. Film actor Errol Flynn's family lived on the Stranmillis Road.
Other places of interest in the area include the Lyric Theatre and the Friar’s Bush Graveyard, one of the oldest Christian sites in Belfast, with some graves dating to the early mediaeval period. The site is marked on a map of 1570. In the 18th century when Catholics were forbidden to build a church in Belfast they met at Friar's Bush which was then outside the town boundary, for Holy Communion. Mass ceased in 1769.
The Stranmillis Embankment is also popular among locals and tourists, and runs along the Lagan, while a towpath runs along the Lagan Valley from the area to the city of Lisburn south of Belfast. The QUB Boat Club is also based in the area.
- UK Tentative List of Potential Sites for World Heritage Nomination: Application form – Malone and Stranmillis Historic Urban landscape, Northern Ireland (PDF), United Kingdom Department for Culture, Media and Sport, retrieved 2010-12-02
- Museum tops 100,000
- Origin of Belfast Street Names
- Weatherall, N. 2002.South Belfast Terrace and Villa. ISBN 1900935287