the end of the 17th century Ireland had over 40 fortified towns
and cities – few of which were situated in Ulster. When
the Walls of Derry were built between 1614 and 1619 they proved
to be the most formidable and enduring in that province.
Similar fortifications are to be found throughout Europe today. In England
it is still possible to walk around the city Walls built at Chester
2,000 years ago by the Romans and at York by the Normans 900 years
ago. But Derry is the only city in Ireland which has preserved
its Walls in their entirety.
Walls have survived in such good condition partly because they
are so young – less than 400 years old – but mainly
because so many citizens and organisations made sure over the
centuries that this imposingly unique and central feature of
our heritage should be preserved.
story behind their construction and momentous history began in
the 12th century.