Coffee & Shortbread at Campbell College

Hello. How are y’all? This morning’s nail biting session coffee break comes from Campbell College Belfast (AKA Hogwarts). I’m currently speed drinking black coffee and comfort eating cranberry shortbread in the dining hall as Cub No. 1 sits his AQE exam in one of the classrooms.

This is the second of three exams. The last will be next Saturday.

Dining Hall Campbell College
Nothing like the canteen in my old school, look at that fire!

I hate this wait, he’s 40 minutes in at time of writing; but there are definitely worse places I could be.

You probably haven’t heard of Campbell College, but you might well be familiar with one of the features in its grounds; a certain lone lamppost that provided inspiration for one of Campbell’s famous alumni: CS Lewis.

CS Lewis Lamppost, grounds of Campbell College Belfast
Not so much a Lantern Wasteland, but still magical when it snows

I loved The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, actually I loved all of The Chronicles of Narnia; I can still remember being absolutely shell shocked, (in a very positive way) when I found out that not only was CS Lewis from Belfast, but much of Narnia was inspired by Northern Ireland. As I mentioned in Open Season at Royal Portrush the ruins of Dunluce Castle provides inspiration for Cair Paravel and the Mourne Mountains provided much of the geographical landscape.

It took a long time to celebrate Lewis as a son of Belfast, much more prominence is given to Seamus Heaney (😡) but we’re getting there. If you visit Belfast you can take a Lewis inspired walking tour. You’ll visit his birthplace in Dundela, the artwork in Lewis square, maybe get a cup of tea in either Jack’s or The Lamppost Cafes before visiting the archives in The Arches Library. Aficionados will remember Lewis lamenting that he could never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to satisfy him.

Lewis wasn’t at Campbell for long, but enjoyed his time there, and now Cub No. 1 has a chance of also going to school here too, the lucky wee sod, so I’m keeping fingers crossed. Oh God, he has 5 minutes left. Arrrgh!

….. and he’s out, seems chipper, a far cry from his Ma’s experience so many years ago. Less said about that the better.

Campbell College Belfast

The Great Hall
The Great Hall, Campbell College Belfast
The Faces on the Wall, tributes to past pupils who lost their lives in service, from WWI onwards
School grounds
Part of the school grounds


The School emblem, a wild boar


  1. There are so many things I want to see in Northern Ireland. My short visit was just enough to make me want more. IN the Spring we are coming back…sort of. Dirk will be attending the Tattoo show in Cork. He has promised that we will take a day, and make the drive to the North and enjoy some more time there.
    I hope all went well with his exams!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s more than one lamppost. I’ve been shown one in Oxford that lays claim to inspiring THE lamppost. Obviously, the lamppost itself doesn’t make any claims; claims are made on its behalf.

    I came to Narnia quite late, but loved all the books. It took two goes to get through the last one, though. It was dreadful to see what Narnia had become and I had an idea about how the book was going to end, which turned out to be correct. I’m thinking now that I might read them all again over Christmas.

    I hope all went well for the wee cub.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I just loved them, growing up. I read my copies until they actually fell apart.

      I also loved Till we have faces, his interpretation of the legend of Cupid and Psyche. It might tie in with some of your classics

      From what I can tell, the cub got on ok with it. Fingers crossed 🤞

      Liked by 1 person

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