The 17th Century Derry Walls: A Journey Through History
Take a walk around the Derry Walls, the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. The walls, which are approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town, preserving its Renaissance Style street plan to this day. Visitors can explore the city's rich history, heritage, and vibrant cultural scene, and view Europe's largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely.
The Derry Walls are a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the north of Ireland. Built during the period 1613-1618 by the Irish Society as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland, these walls are the most complete in Ireland and one of the finest examples in Europe of Walled Cities. The walls are approximately 1.5km in circumference and form a walkway around the inner city, providing a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town, which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day.
Visitors can explore the city's rich history and heritage by walking around the walls and viewing the four original gates to the Walled City: Shipquay Gate, Butcher Gate, Bishop's Gate, and Ferryquay Gate. Three further gates were added - New Gate, Castle Gate, and Magazine Gate. Each gate has its own unique history and architecture, making them fascinating destinations to explore.
The walls vary in width between 12 and 35 feet and are the most complete in Ireland. They are also home to Europe's largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely. Many of them were used during the two seventeenth century sieges of the city. In 2005, the surviving 24 cannon were restored, and craftsmen cleared the barrels of centuries of rubbish, stripped off layers of paint and corrosion, and bathed, sponged, and waxed the cannon back to their former glory. The cannon are displayed throughout the City Walls, with the impressive Roaring Meg located on the double bastion.
In addition to exploring the walls, visitors can also enjoy the vibrant cultural scene of Derry. The city is home to a range of museums, galleries, and theaters, including the Tower Museum, the Guildhall, and the Millennium Forum. Visitors can also enjoy live music, festivals, and events throughout the year, including the annual Halloween festival, which is one of the largest in Europe. Just a short drive away is the fantastic Wild Ireland Wildlife Park, home to wolves, bears and many other animals which were formerly native to Ireland.
Overall, a walk around the walls of Derry is a journey through history, offering a unique perspective on the city's rich heritage and culture. Visitors can explore the walls, view Europe's largest collection of cannons, and enjoy the vibrant cultural scene of this fascinating city. Nearby attractions and activities include exploring the Causeway Coastal Route, visiting the nearby town of Coleraine, and exploring the nearby Sperrin Mountains, which offer stunning landscapes and outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and fishing. Visitors can also take a short drive to the nearby town of Limavady, which is home to the Roe Valley Country Park, a beautiful natural park with walking trails, gardens, and a range of outdoor activities.