Many people tend to ask the question “What is a Belfast sink?” and it’s one of those questions that you can hazard a guess at. Belfast is a city, so either the sink was built there or it’s the size of the place!
To start off with, the Belfast sink is derived from a Butler sink and is also known as a Butler Belfast sink. As you may have guessed by the term “Butler” these sinks got their name as they were used by Butlers in their pantries for preparing food and washing up after the nobles had finished.
Based on the above “Butler” assumption, yes you guessed it, Belfast sinks are named this way because they were made for and used initially in Belfast. Sanitation officers in the 17th century who had the responsibility of controlling water consumption, made them big enough to wash a small child in and gave the sinks an overflow to allow water to flow out so that the sink did not overflow at the brim. Water was not an issue in Belfast so these sinks did not really have a size restriction.
This leads me on quite nicely to London. Did you know that they is also a Butler London sink? Sanitation officers in London had to make these sinks smaller in depth and they had no overflow as fresh water in London was not as abundant as Belfast so wastage was not an option! That’s your little history lesson over for the day.
Belfast sinks today
Cast your mind back a while and you may remember that you had one of these types of sinks a long time ago as a child growing up in the family home. Depending on your age, you may not remember this:-) Some people could not wait to get rid of these sinks as the early ones were a bit of an eye sore and often were just attached to pipes next to a wall.
With today’s modern fitted kitchens and granite worktops & quartz worktops, they now fit in beautifully with any classic kitchen design that you choose. The beauty of a Belfast sink is that they are easy to clean, accommodate big bowls as well as all the Sunday lunch pots and pans that you can chuck at it!
You can read about the units that are required to house a Belfast sink here.
Take a look at the pictures below which show Belfast sinks being used in today’s kitchens.
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