Derry Walls Day Builds on Heritage of 400 Years

City marks another milestone in its quadricentennial celebrations with historical, family-themed activities at key sites

Derry will mark the latest anniversary of the five-year construction of its ancient Walls with a day of historical re-enactments and interactive events as part of National Heritage Week on Sunday, August 30.

While many of Ireland's 21 walled towns are celebrating the heritage value of their surviving fortifications this week, Derry's are the only remaining to still be completely intact and are Northern Ireland's fourth most popular visitor attraction.

Since 2013 the day's activities have centred around an annual theme, with this year's focus being the discovery of the Great Northern Plot of 1615 which accelerated the building of the Walls. 

The programme offers visitors the experience of conversing with the architects of the Plantation of Ulster, taking sides during the trial of alleged chief conspirator Rory O’Cahan and taking part in a child friendly Plotter’s Treasure Hunt by following clues located in the nearby museums. Insights like these will form a narrative of the Irish, English and Scots settlers trying to find space in the community during the time.

Derry Walls Day

Northern Ireland Environment Agency will also demonstrate modern masonry skills in the city's museums along with interactive activities that provide a voice for the period's untold stories.

'The 400th anniversary of the building of the City Walls (1613-1618) has been marked annually through insights and historical perspectives, says Anne McCartney, Secretary of the Friends of Derry Walls.

'Our ambition is to share untold stories of this historical era and to help understand the richness of our cultural identity that was influenced by these events and shaped the landscape of the city we live in today.'

Derry Walls Day activities start at 12.30pm in the Guildhall Square. Participating museums include the Guildhall, Tower Museum, Bluecoats Museum at First Derry, St Augustine’s Church, The Siege Museum temporarily located in St Augustine’s Church Hall, The Chapter House Museum in St Columb’s Cathedral, St Columba’s Heritage Centre at the Long Tower, and the Museum of Free Derry temporarily located at the bottom of Shipquay Street.

For detailed programme information visit thederrywalls.com/2015/08/25/walls400. Header image credit: Aislinn Cassidy.