List of entries |  Feedback 
  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

The name of one of the *six counties and also of the second largest city (72,000 in 1991) of Northern Ireland. The city is a port and garrison town on the river Foyle just before it flows into Lough Foyle (a north coast inlet of the sea); it is believed to be where St *Columba founded a monastery in 564. The town was known as Derry (and is still usually called this, particularly by Roman Catholics) until granted in 1611 to the City of London, with the intention that it should be settled with English Protestants.

In recent times sectarian hostilities have continued to be a feature of life in Derry. Civil rights demonstrations, beginning in 1968, led to confrontations with the police and army. The Roman Catholic districts of Bogside and Creggan became virtually a sealed-off part of the city. On 30 January 1972 (Bloody Sunday) a banned civil rights march in the Bogside ended in violence and the shooting of 13 people by British troops.

This was carried out so successfully that in 1689 the inhabitants withstood a siege of 105 days, from April to August, by the army of the Roman Catholic *James II. The raising of the siege is commemorated each year on August 12, with much *Unionist triumphalism, in the Apprentice Boys' March; and the apprentices are celebrated because on 7 December 1688, four months before the start of the siege, they had forcefully indicated Londonderry's Protestant loyalty by closing the town gates in the face of James II's deputy in Ireland, the earl of Tyrconnel.

The city walls are virtually intact, as built in the 17C by the newly arrived Londoners; Roaring Meg, a brass cannon of 1642 which played its part in the great siege, stands on them still at the Double Bastion. The Diamond is the central square of the old city within the walls, and near the 18C arch known as Bishop's Gate is the Protestant cathedral, St Columb's (17–19C). The Roman Catholic cathedral, St Eugene's (19C), is outside the walls to the north of Bogside.

A  B-BL  BO-BX  C-CH  CI-CX  D  E  F  G  H  IJK  L  M  NO  P  QR  S-SL  SM-SX  T  UV  WXYZ