Belfast City Cemetery opened on the 1st August 1869 and is the City's largest cemetery with over 250'000 burials, including many of Belfast's figures from the worlds of industry, education, religion and politics. The contract to design the cemetery was awarded to William Gay in January 1867. The cemetery has 2 types of graves, 'Proprietary Graves' - graves that could be purchased at a cost of £9 to £1 and 'Paupers Graves' - graves that were the property of the Belfast Corporation. On 5th of October 1869 a small number of Vaults became available for purchase at a public auction and these were taken by Belfast's rich and powerful.
Belfast City Cemetery is divided into four administration blocks. These are: The City Section, The Poor Ground, The Jewish Section and Glenalina. Near the entrance of the cemetery is the Superintendent's Gatehouse which was designed by renowned architect John Lanyon and opened in 1873. It is currently used as the Cemetery Administration Office. The Cemetery's boundary walls, roadways and drainage contract was awarded to 'Monk & Co' and the Cemetery's wrought iron gates were provided by Cliff & Co of Bradford.