Long Tower Church

Derry’s oldest church is also one of the prettiest

Tradition had it that Long Tower Church was the site where Colmcille founded a monastery in Derry.Stained glass from Long Tower Church

One of the priests who was administrator there at the turn of the twentieth century, Fr William Doherty, helped to foster that tradition.

He had the church reconstructed and refurbished between 1907 and 1909, using magnificent stained glass and other exquisite decorative detail to retell the legendary story of St Colmcille’s foundation on that very spot.

However, Fr Doherty was almost certainly mistaken, both about the identity of the founder of the monastery and about the location. It is widely accepted that the first monastic church of Derry was located where St Augustine’s Church of Ireland chapel-of-ease  now stands.