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Mission Trench House image

Image of Trench HouseTrench House was built in 1880 by the leading property-owner in the locality, Arthur Hamill. In 1918, on the death of the last member of the Hamill family, the house and grounds passed, by will, to the Belfast community of the Sisters of Mercy.

The Sisters leased the house to the Bishop of Down and Connor and it remained the Episcopal residence until 1938. Except for a period of military occupation during World War II, Trench House lay vacant until it became a teacher-training centre, St Joseph's College, nine years later.

The expanding needs of teacher training led to the completion in 1960 of a major extension to the original house. The extension included a chapel, which was dedicated in 1961, a tuition block and a residential wing. Additional tuition accommodation was completed in 1969. New playing fields and a running track were opened in the same year. A new library was completed in 1974.

St. Joseph's merged with St Mary's in 1986, and the Trench House site was finally closed in June 1996 when all Catholic teacher education was transferred to the Falls Road campus.