Londonderry, also known as Derry 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 to 1618 by the Honourable Irish Society as defences for early settlers from England and Scotland.
The Walls, which are approximately 1.5 km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide an ideal promenade from which to see the original City and from their elevated position to view the Bogside.
The four original gates to the Walled City are Ferryquay gate, Bishop’s Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. Three further gates added later are Magazine Gate, New Gate and Castle Gate.
The City claims to have Europe’s largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely from historical documents. In 2005 the surviving 24 cannons were restored. The cannon are displayed throughout the City Walls with the very famous Roaring Meg located at the double bastion. Make sure you have your photograph taken at this point.
The most famous siege of Londonderry took place in 1688 /1689. In 1688 the Catholic King James ll was deposed. All of Ireland stayed loyal to James, but Londonderry was one of the few places which remained loyal to King William. A Catholic army attempted to enter the City on December 1688 but 13 Apprentice Boys shut the gates against them. This began the siege of Derry in which many thousands of people died of starvation. The siege lasted 105 days and ended on the 28th July 1689 when ships broke a wooden boom across the river erected by the Catholic Army, and brought food to the City. Three days later the besiegers realised they could not succeed and left leaving a trail of destruction.