Wall to Wall heritage events in the Walled City next weekend

Derry Walls Day 2017, on Saturday 9th September, coincides with the first day of Northern Ireland’s European Heritage Open Days weekend. So Ireland’s Walled City will be an especially great place for a great day out next Saturday with Open Doors, exhibitions, special interest tours, living history and a treasure hunt.
The Friends of the Derry Walls are keen to spread the word about these great events. Anne McCartney, Secretary, explained: “The Friends of the Derry Walls raise awareness of the significance of the Derry Walls through organising educational and training events about the heritage and conservation of the Walls.  We also highlight our partners’ events. 2017 is the 400th anniversary of the opening of a Free School within the nearly completed City Walls and 400 years of education is the theme of Derry Walls Day 2017.”
The Walls Friends have enlisted the help of Daniel Doherty, as a graduate intern to help get the word out:  “I’ve recently graduated from the Ulster University with a degree in Business Studies with Advertising so I jumped at the chance of helping the charity to promote Derry Walls Day 2017. But with only a week to go, it is quite a challenge. However the quality of events being organised next weekend within the Walled City will be very popular once the word gets fully out.”
  • Open Doors – a great opportunity to see behind the closed doors of heritage buildings within the Walled City for free. Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September 2017.
  • The Schoolmaster’s Treasure Hunt – a free treasure hunt around the Derry Walls with living history performers and the chance to win prizes. Saturday 9th September 2017.
  • Sketch the Derry Walls  – a  90 minute guided sketching and historical walking tour of the Derry Walls and Walled City. Saturday 9th September 2017.
  • Stone, Brick and Mortar Tour – a 90 minute geological, architectural and historical walking tour of the Derry Walls and Walled City. Saturday 9th September 2017.
  • Living History around the Walls – the most beautiful heritage buildings around the Derry Walls will be enhanced on #derrywallsday with living history performers. Saturday 9th September 2017.
  • Architectural Archives Exhibition – an exhibition in the Guildhall of hand-drawn plans of the many significant buildings in Derry Londonderry. Saturday 9th -Sunday 10th September 2017.
  • What Are Your Most Valued Places – a Twittersphere map based survey seeking public views on special places in the cross-border cultural landscape of Nort West Ireland. Saturday 9th September 2017.
  • Siege Tours of the Walls – the  final “Siege Walls” walking tours of the 2017 season on Saturday 9th September. £3 per person includes free admission to the Siege Museum.
  • Tour of Walled City and Historic Neighbourhoods –  Join architect/urbanist Mary Kerrigan for a walking tour on Sunday 10th September 2017.
Full details of the events and how to book are on the Walls Friends website

Meet the Intern: Beth Ellis

(Featured picture – being Introduced to Rev. Malcolm Ferry of St Augustine’s)

Hi everyone, my name is Beth and I will be joining the Friends of the Derry Walls team for the next month as an intern. I have just recently graduated in Advertising from Ulster University, and will be working to help with marketing and promoting the Derry Walls as a cultural destination. The walls themselves encircle a variety of civic and community based museums, arts venues and craft shops that tell the stories of Derry, and I see that it’s important for these elements to be leveraged with regards to tourism in Derry.

Spending the last 4 years studying in Derry, I have grown to love the city which is full of history and heritage. During my degree I was lucky enough to work on projects related to the Derry Walls and various local organisations in Derry; I believe it’s really essential to appreciate the place you live in and I’ve found the experience of working with local businesses to be highly rewarding.

I have also had previous experience working in tourism during my placement year at Tourism Ireland, where I dealt with the management and sourcing of content related to marketing the island of Ireland as a tourism destination.

I look forward to the next 5 weeks of contributing ideas and using my skills in content development and social media, to work towards enhancing the way in which the Derry Walls are marketed.

St Columba’s Day in Derry

June 9th is the Feast of St Columba or Columcille the patron saint of Derry. This  veneration is evident in the naming and decoration of churches within and without the Derry Walls. Also important are the St Columb’s Wells, which were marked in both Docwra’s 1600 and Neville’s 1689 maps. Here are some photographs which illustrate this.

Map from 1600 showing St Columb’s Wells.
Map from 1689 showing St Columb’s Wells.
1949 Derry and Glendermot Presbytery Booklet
Long Tower and Nazareth House Primary Schools reenacting key events in the life of Columcille.
St Columb’s Stone


The procession leaves Long Tower Chapel for the annual blessing of the well.


Recent communicants join the procession to the blessing of the well.


Bishop McKeown leads the Blessing of St Columba’s Well
Bishop Donal McKeown helping to draw water from St Columba’s Well.


Mural at the Long Tower Chapel depicting key events in the life of Columcille.


St Augustine’s on the Derry Walls, probable site of the medieval monastery, dedicated to St Columba.
The life of Columba illustrated in the Phillips Window in St Columb’s Cathedral.
Oak leaves in the Long Tower Chapel.


The day the Deputy First Minister turned up for Walls400

We don’t do politics, except those of 400 years ago. However with today’s news, it’s appropriate to mention the day in August 2013 when Martin McGuinness turned up with 1,970 other Derry Londonderry people to form a red line around the rampart tops to mark the 400th anniversary of the start of the building of the Derry Walls. It was quite a surprise to the organisers, since the only formal invitation issued  to a politician had been to the Mayor, Martin O’Reilly. The Deputy First Minister had responded to the open public invitation in a personal capacity, queuing with everyone else to collect his red t-shirt. A demonstration of his personal interest in the Derry Walls, in the shadow of which, Martin McGuinness  grew up. Condolences at this time to his wife, Bernie, his children and his extended family. Photo credits: Stephen Latimer Photography.