31/01/2003

Anger as CS Lewis's house is demolished

A last-ditch plea has failed to prevent the demolition of an historic east Belfast building with strong links to world-famous author CS Lewis.

City councillors along with heritage groups such as the Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust, had hoped that a consultation with South and East Belfast Health Trust – the buildings owners – would offer a stay of execution for the building.

However, teams moved in today and Redhall, a Victorian building which lies on the Circular Road, was demolished. The health trust is believed to want to maximise sale proceeds by making it a cleared site. It is understood proceeds would help to fund a community treatment and care centre.

CS Lewis wrote one of his first Christian novels, 'Pilgrim's Regress', at Red Hall. Lewis's nearby childhood home, Little Lea, has been listed, but calls for similar protection for Red Hall failed.

City councillors had hopes that demolition of the Victorian building would be stalled, but a last-minute decision by the Department of the Environment said the site did not meet the criteria for listed building status.

(AMcE)

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