the Great Siege the Corporation began to repair the badly damaged
ramparts, Walls and Gates. The twelve main London Companies
£100 each towards the Corporation's costs and basic reconstruction
was carried out over the following few years.
1702 England was at war with Spain and France (The War of the
Spanish Succession). The Corporation voiced vigorous alarm at
the inadequacies of the city's fortifications in case of '...the
defence of this important place'. Captain Jean Thomas, the French
engineer, was subsequently appointed by the Government to inspect
Derry's defences and make recommendations for their, strengthening.
1705 he produced a detailed report and plan. In the event of
attack, a system would be activated to flood the low-lying area
between the river at a spot beyond the foot of present-day Bishop
Street and a point on the Strand Road creating, in effect, an
'island fortress'. At both these positions 'considerable fortifications'
were to be built. Additionally, a 'citadel'encompassing the area
currently stretching from the bottom of Bishop Street up to Ferguson
Street, and including the grounds of St Columb's College, was
proposed to house the garrison, magazine and artillery. Thomas
also planned for a 'new town' outside the Walls reaching to the
river's edge, to accommodate any Protestants who had to be brought
in from outlying areas. As with previous projected improvements
Thomas's vision of the city was never implemented.
Walls and Gates were, nevertheless, carefully preserved over
the next 80 years. Even the locks and keys of the Gates were
kept in good repair. However, from the end of the 18th century
the Corporation instigated controversial plans which greatly
altered the Walls' appearance and caused the original four Gates
to be extensively rebuilt. The Walls as we know them today came
about because of this significant period of change.
many alterations and additions which took place could best be
Gate was completely levelled and a Triumphal Arch (with side
passages for pedestrians) was erected in honour of King William
III. The sculpted head on the outside is dated 1689 and represents
the River Foyle. The one on the inside dated 1690 represents
the River Boyne.
and guardhouses were removed from Butcher's Gate.
was made in the Walls between London Street and Hawkin Street
and New Gate erected.
was removed from over Shipquay Gate.
Gate was widened and ornamented.
to the Bridge Act was enabling the Corporation to remove all
walls and gates for the betterment of the city and the convenience
of the bridge built across the Foyle in 1790. (the Corporation,
in reality, used the act sparingly, usually only to take eseential
alterations to the Walls.)
Gate was opened in the Parade, now known as Castle Gate.
wooden gates were removed from all of the Gates.
Gate was completely rebuilt and ornamented. Gunner's Bastion
was also removed.
of Hangman's Bastion and all of Coward's Bastion were removed.
Walker's Pillar was erected in Royal Bastion. (It was demolished
by a bomb in 1973.)
was made and steps were built from Foyle Street onto East
Wall through Water Bastion. Over the years most of Water Bastion
was also removed.
debated opening in the Walls was made linking Orchard Street
to Richmond Street. This is the only break in the circuit
of the Walls where there is no gate.
Gate was erected bearing the sculpted heads of Captain Adam
Murray and David Cairns, leaders in the defence of the city
of the Walls between Shipquay Gate and Magazine Gate was heightened
by 6 feet.
and Ferryquay Gate were rebuilt. The keystones on the latter
represent Rev George Walker and Rev James Gordon, leading
defenders in the 1689 siege.
In a period of 80 years, Derry's Walls changed from a simple
defensive fortification to an ornamented monument dedicated
to those who had fought to protect their city some two centuries