Castle Fete with the Campbells, Part III

Castle Fete with the Campbells, Part III

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Belfast Castle, North Belfast






01min 05sec





black and white


Campbell Family Collection


Campbell family, Fiona Campbell Hicks

Rights Holder

Fiona Campbell Hicks

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The third and the final part of the garden fete pageant at Belfast Castle sees attendants dressed in white, some with ruffs, escorting Queen Elizabeth I down the Italianate serpentine staircase to perform for the gathered audience. The procession also includes a man in kilt who bends the knee to the Queen.  

The film was probably shot by John Dermot Campbell and it is part of the Campbell Family Collection.  


Belfast Castle, a 19th Century Scottish Baronial style mansion, sits in a prominent position near Cavehill. The castle was passed, via marriage, to the Shaftesbury family and in 1894 the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury added an Italian-style serpentine staircase as a gift to his mother, the Dowager Countess.

The Shaftesbury family was very generous donor to Belfast, supporting many charities and hosting garden fêtes such as the one in this clip, in the castle grounds. The ninth Earl became Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1907 and chancellor of Queen's University in 1908. The Shaftesbury family presented the castle and its estates to the Belfast Corporation in 1934. During the Second World War it served as a base for the Royal Navy Admiralty. The slopes of Cave Hill were also used as a refuge by local families during the blitz.


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