Located in the City of Derry, this Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the 13 boys who began the siege of Derry in 1688 by closing the gates of the city in the face of King James II.
It has also served, over the years, as a symbol to the persistence and steadfastness of Derry’s protestant population. More than 20,000 members of the Apprentice Boys — a fraternal, secretive society – have pledged their dedication to Protestant values in the building’s Initiation Room.
The Memorial Hall houses a museum that featues a variety of books, swords and firearms, sculpture and period furniture. The top floor contains a bar and dance hall used for social occasions arranged by the Apprentice Boys Society.
The walls of the room are decorated by 12 banners that signify the biblical 12 lost tribes of Israel, believed by some Protestants in Northern Ireland to be their ancestors.
Alongside the building stands the Walker Memorial, a tribute to the man who served as governor during the Siege of Derry in 1688.
The original statue was the target of an IRA explosion in 1973.
Legend has it that the statue’s head landed in the Catholic neighbourhood of Bogside, where a young boy found it and sold it back to the Protestants for a sizeable sum of money. The head of the original statue was attached to a new body, forming the memorial that is currently on display.