Friday, 19 June 2015

Derry-Londonderry Wrap-up

So here we are at the end of my little amble around Derry's Famous Walls.  Just a couple of snaps to wind things up.

The first is looking up Shipquay Street from the walls near the Guildhall - from Shipquay Gate to be precise.

Shipquay Street, Derry, 2015
Shipquay St. leads up to The Diamond, where the War Memorial is sited.  This was erected after the First World War in memory of those from the city that had fallen - although it wasn't until 1927 that the war memorial was formally unveiled.

As you know (!), Derry originally had 4 main gates - Bishop's Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Shipquay Gate and Butcher Gate, all of which led to the Diamond.  This is what Ferryquay Gate looked like on the day I was there:

Ferry Quay Gate, Derry
A very nice old structure it is too - even with the security camera on the pole in front of it.  Two pedestrian entrances as well as the larger one, which is wide enough for 2-way traffic - well, provided we're not talking Chelsea tractor-size traffic.  Mind you, where I live, about an hour East of Derry, you're just as likely to get a Massey Ferguson as a Range Rover.  Last night, for example, I did a quick milk&wine stop at my local Spar Service Station and there was not just a tractor, but a full combine harvester parked up.

The Public Records Office for NI has minutes of the Derry Corporation (the organisation which managed the City) dating back to February 1673.  This is quite some time ago - 80 years before the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar throughout the British Empire.  You can see the minutes online, but they are hard to read, being written in script.  The first minute book revels the concerns of the Corporation for the safety of the City - rightly so considering there were sieges in 1649 and 1689.  Apparently the first meeting recorded details the payment of 20 shillings, quarterly, to a Mr Edward Cooper for keeping the locks and keys of the City Gates in good order.

So that was a very quick tour of Derry's Famous Walls - hope you enjoyed it!

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