A walk around Derry’s walls reveals a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene.
Derry (Londonderry) is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. The Walls were built during the period 1613-1618 by the honourable, the Irish Society as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland. 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 which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day.
The four original gates to the Walled City are Bishop’s Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. Three further gates were added - magazine Gate, Castle Gate and New Gate. The Walls vary in width between 12 and 35 feet.are the most complete in Ireland and one of the finest examples in Europe of Walled Cities.
The city claims Europe’s largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely. Many of them thundered in anger over the two seventeenth century sieges. In 2005 the surviving 24 cannon were restored, and under expert supervision and often by hand, 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.
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