Fodor's Expert Review Guildhall

Derry Historical
Free Fodor's Choice

The rejuvenated Victorian Guildhall is an outstanding example of the city's ornate architecture. It has been refashioned as a visitor center with interactive exhibits telling the story of the Plantation of Ulster and the construction of the walled city, and how these events shaped present-day Derry. Touch-screen displays explain the building's special features, like the elaborate ceilings, baronial wood paneling, and a magnificent organ. For children, hands-on displays include a puzzle of a 1598 map of Ulster, and a wheel they can spin to find out about the different London companies and how land was divided. Kids can also build a bawn, stone house, or castle using wooden blocks, or dress up in the clothes of Planters or Irish people of the period. Look out, too, for the delightful scale model of the city in 1738 showing just a few thatched cabins outside the perimeter wall. A conserved page (a folio) from the Great Parchment Book of 1639 detailing the account of the Plantation... READ MORE

The rejuvenated Victorian Guildhall is an outstanding example of the city's ornate architecture. It has been refashioned as a visitor center with interactive exhibits telling the story of the Plantation of Ulster and the construction of the walled city, and how these events shaped present-day Derry. Touch-screen displays explain the building's special features, like the elaborate ceilings, baronial wood paneling, and a magnificent organ. For children, hands-on displays include a puzzle of a 1598 map of Ulster, and a wheel they can spin to find out about the different London companies and how land was divided. Kids can also build a bawn, stone house, or castle using wooden blocks, or dress up in the clothes of Planters or Irish people of the period. Look out, too, for the delightful scale model of the city in 1738 showing just a few thatched cabins outside the perimeter wall. A conserved page (a folio) from the Great Parchment Book of 1639 detailing the account of the Plantation is also on display. Other highlights include the 23 superb stained-glass windows in the reception area, up the stairs, and in the first floor main hall reflecting the siege of 1689 and other aspects of the city's history. With the gleaming restoration, one of the most famous of all Derry's local sayings, "You've more faces than the Guildhall clock"—not a compliment—has renewed resonance.

Enjoy an alfresco coffee in the Guild Café at the harbor square entrance overlooking the Foyle, an ideal spot to catch the riverine light and reflect on 400 turbulent years of history.

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Historical Free Fodor's Choice Family Other Attraction

Quick Facts

Guildhall Sq.
Derry, Co. Londonderry  BT48 6DQ, Northern Ireland

028-7137–6510

www.derrystrabane.com/guildhall

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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