Thursday, 11 April 2013

Around Derry City, Ireland

County Derry

County Derry is one of the longest continuously inhabited places in Ireland. The earliest historical references date to the sixth century A.D. 

The name Derry derives from the old Irish word Daire meaning an oak grove. Oak groves were sacred places for the Celtic peoples who once lived over most of Western Europe. Derry was almost certainly one of these sacred places. 

Derry city, also known as Londonderry, came into existence in 546 when St. Columba founded a monastery here beside the River Foyle. 

In the 17th century, the Ulster plantation took place. This involved English and Scottish migrants colonizing Ulster. Derry city was laid out during this time according to the best contemporary principles of town planning and was enclosed by massive stone and earthen fortifications. 

It was the last walled city to be built in Ireland and is the only whose ancient walls survive complete. You can walk along the walls, which are about a mile round and 18 feet thick. They have withstood several stages. 

Derry is an old, beautiful city, set in a surrounding landscape of unparallelled natural beauty and diversity.