|Derry, or Londonderry as it is officially known, is a very
historic city and one of only a few in Ireland whose city walls have survived the years of
growth. It was founded around 1610 by settlers from London, although the ruins of an
ancient Monastry had occupied the site previously. This monastry, founded by St Columba
[Colmcille] in the mid 500's AD, is the earliest known use of the word Derry ('Doire',
which in the language of the Celts meant 'A Grove of Oak Trees').
Over the years, Derry saw its share of violence. In 1689 it was beseiged by the Army of King James 1st for 105 days, and most of the buildings in the city were destroyed. Nevertheless, the city grew steadily and soon outgrew its city walls. A modern map of Derry [see below] shows just how big the city now is compared to the walls that once enclosed it. In 1790 the first bridge across the wide River Foyle was built and this led to the founding of what is now the Waterside area of the city on the east bank.
At the time of the Industrial Revolution, Derry became a railway and shipping centre, with many of the ships to the Americas leaving from the docks of the Foyle. This tradition is preserved in the state of New Hampshire, USA, where the cities of Derry and Londonderry were founded by ex-pats.
In 1921, Derry suddenly became a border city when the Irish Free State was founded. Today the Donegal border lies just 2km from the edge of the city - an excellent source of cheap fuel for the inhabitants! In recent years, Derry has grown steadily both in terms of industry and population. The Derry Local Government District had 95,371 inhabitants in 1991, compared to 83,381 in 1971. The city itself stood at 72,334 inhabitants in 1991, making it the fifth largest city in Ireland.
Click on the thumbnail on the right to view a street map of Derry city [46kB]. This map is on the same scale as the Belfast street map which is also available on this web site. The map also includes a closeup of the historic City Walls area of the city. The roads are labelled with numbers, for which there is a key on the map. However, we have also supplied an alphabetical list of the marked roads and buildings which give the number to look for on the map. This index is given below.
Click on the thumbnail on the right to see a map of Derry city coloured on religious lines [34kB]. Although Derry was originally an almost exclusively Protestant city, it has become increasingly Catholic over recent centuries. At the last (1991) census, the population of the Derry Local Government District was approximately 69% Catholic. When the first bridge over the wide river Foyle was opened, in 1790, it saw the formation of the Waterside area of the city. In time, the Protestants of Derry drifted over to the Waterside leaving the Cityside (as it is now known) almost entirely Catholic. Only a small area near the city walls, known as the Fountain, contains a community of Protestants. The Cityside itself has grown very quickly in the past 20 years, mainly in a northerly direction. The Waterside, which has grown north-eastwards in size in an equally dramatic manner, has a very Protestant population. Only a small pocket near Craigavon Bridge has a significant Catholic majority, while mixed areas can be found around the edges of the Waterside. In recent years it has become more common to refer to the growing Waterside as a distinct town in its own right, rather than simply as part of Derry city. This has led to the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland marking 'Waterside' as a separate town east of Derry city on its latest maps. Note: one cannot state whether the walled city in Derry is Catholic or Protestant, as it is not a residential area.
Derry from Space
Index of streets and places marked on the Derry map.
Apprentice Boys' Hall
Bishop Street Within
Bishop Street Without
Foyleside Shopping Centre
'Free Derry' Corner
Kilfennan Link Road
Lone Moor Road
Madam's Bank Road
Magazine Street Upper
Richmond Shopping Centre
St Augustine's Church
St Columb's Cathedral
St Columb's Park
Strabane Old Road
Union Hall Place
University of Ulster, Magee