Places to Visit in Derry
- Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall
- Derry City
- Derry City Walls
- Free Derry Corner
- Half-Hanged Mc Naughton
- Harbour Museum
- Lough’s Agency – Riverwatch Aquarium
- O’Doherty’s Tower and Derry Tower Museum
- Prehen House and Estate
- St. Columb’s Cathedral, Derry City
- The Guildhall
- The People’s Gallery
- Workhouse Museum
County Derry Overview
The County of Derry takes its name from its largest city, steeped in centuries of tumultuous history.
Sometimes called Londonderry, depending on the political point of view, this county in the north offers both the beauties of nature in its scenic coastal areas and the Sperrin Mountains as well as a multitude of historical sites dating back to the foundation of Derry City in 546 and beyond.
County Derry Highlights
Many of County Derry’s historical attractions are located within bounds of Derry City, but outlying areas are rich in outdoor attractions — such as forests, nature reserves and beautiful beaches.
The City Walls of Derry are remarkably well preserved, considering that they date back to 1618, marking the boundaries of the city at that point in its long history. St. Columb’s Cathedral showcases relics of the Siege within a 1633 Gothic Church.
A variety of museums, including the Harbour Museum, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, Tower Museum and Workhouse Museum, chronicle the long and eventful past of the region. Derry sits upon ground that has been occupied for so many centuries that it is literally overflowing with evidence of the lifestyles, struggles and triumphs of its past citizenry.
County Derry History
- County Derry, as described by its current boundaries, had its beginnings in 1613.
- The county was arranged to the advantage of the Irish Society and the influential livery companies of London, who wanted the boundaries to encompass land on both sides of Rivers Foyle and Bann.
- In those days, Coleraine was the county town, and also the former name of the county itself.
- The city of Derry has a very long history, dating back to the 6th century A.D., when the Celts named it Daire, a word that translates into ‘oak grove’.
- Druids occupied this sacred oak grove until St. Columba established a monastery on the site in the 6th century.
- During following centuries Derry City survived through Viking invasions and the arrival of the English to legally be declared a city in 1603.
- It was destroyed in 1608 in battle following the Flight of the Earls and rebuilt during the Plantation period instituted by King James I to colonise Ulster with Protestant settlers.
- The indelible imprint of the Siege of Derry in 1688 is still visible upon the city’s character today.
- Citizens behind the city walls held off the soldiers of King James for 105 days.
Popular Derry Surnames
Common surnames in County Derry include: