Belfast Royal Academy - founded 1785


Our School – Facilities

The Castle Grounds

The Castle Grounds, at the foot of the Cave Hill and overlooking Belfast Lough, are thought to be among the most beautiful in the Province.  Our Preparatory Department, Ben Madigan, is situated at one end of the site, which also contains two traditional grass rugby pithces and a cricket square with eight wickets.


The School Library is a large, bright area on the first floor of the Crombie Building in the heart of the School. It provides resources, in a variety of media, to support the curriculum for both pupils and staff and is an attractive area for independent study. At the same time, through whole class and extra curricular activities, the library promotes reading as a fun and leisure activity. The library is staffed by a chartered librarian, Mrs T. Corcoran. Pupils of all ages may help in the daily running of the library and this service may be used towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme or university applications. Pupils also have the opportunity to represent their form on the Library Council. Opening hours are 8.00am – 3.30pm Monday to Friday. All pupils may visit the library at breaktime, lunchtime and after school each day.

Sports Hall

The School Sports Hall was opened to mark The Academy’s Bicentenary Year in 1985. It is a 30-metre hall and can accommodate up to 120 children at any one time. The Hall is used for various sporting activities, including Badminton, Basketball, Mini-Hockey, Netball, Indoor Athletics, Five-a-Side Football, Indoor Cricket and Volleyball. The hall is also used for rugby training, and has a full-size tennis court.

Fitness Suite

The upper level of the Sports Hall has a state-of-the-art fitness suite, comprising of fixed and loose weight stations, running machines, cross-trainers, step-machines and bike-trainers. All these facilities are supported by excellent viewing galleries, changing and shower facilities, making the Sports Hall a centre of excellence.

Swimming Pool

Built in 1974, the 25-metre indoor heated Swimming Pool is used all year round by pupils from the Secondary and Preparatory Departments. It is also used by various school societies, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Canoeing Club, the Mini-Polo team and our very successful School Swimming Team. The pool is used extensively by Community Groups and Swimming Clubs both before school and in the evenings. The facilities are of a very high standard, having recently been refurbished.

Roughfort Sports Grounds

The Roughfort playing pitches were completed circa 1979 and are situated on a dedicated site at Craigarogan, Mallusk, bounded on one side by the Ballymartin Water river, on another by the Craigarogan Road and on the remainder by agricultural land and a commercial vehicle parking area. The playing field facilities are as follows:

  • 5 rugby pitches
  • 1 football pitch
  • 2 artificial cricket wickets
  • 1 artificial cricket netted bowling facility
  • 1 astroturf hockey pitch
  • 2 hard, porous hockey pitches with the facility for a 6 lane athletics track

One pitch has floodlight provision. The grounds also have changing facilities in the form of the Picken Pavilion, a grounds maintenance store, equipment store and there is ample car and bus parking facilities on site.

Cave Hill Tennis Courts

Situated at 20 North Circular Road, this facility is used extensively by the school’s pupils. The Tennis Club has entered into a seventy-five year lease agreement with the School, which means that the school has use of the tennis facilities as required. The courts were recently upgraded and offer excellent facilities for playing tennis.