Archaeologists gather to reflect on Londonderry’s 400th birthday

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are gathering in Londonderry this weekend to reflect on its 400th birthday.

They are here to celebrate Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 and discuss the 400th anniversary of its city status, granted by King James I in 1613.

Nick Brannon, one of the organisers of the archaeological conference in the Verbal Arts Centre, said: “We expect some 50-60 archaeologists to participate in our four-day conference, which will explore Derry/Londonderry in the context of urban growth in the 17th century and beyond. We have speakers from Ireland, America and England.”

The conference, co-organised by the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group and the (international) Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, features public workshops, academic papers and field-trips.

Nick continued: “We hold an annual conference, and last meet in Derry/Londonderry in 2004. We thought that the City of Culture programme would provide us with a stimulating venue.

“It coincides with Ireland-wide reflections on the 400th anniversary of the granting of borough status to many Irish towns by King James I.”

Whilst many towns were granted borough status in 1613, Londonderry became a city.

The conference includes workshops – which are open to anyone with an interest in 17th-century archaeology and architecture – plus academic papers over the weekend.

The theme is the growth of towns, their design, architecture and archaeology. Irish, British and American speakers offer case studies on the archaeological heritage of Derry/Londonderry, Belfast, Coleraine, Limerick, Strabane, Dublin, London and St George’s City, Bermuda, along with more general papers on food, death and housing!

Nick concluded: ‘While our conferences are always packed with fascinating insights and news of discoveries, we recognise that the 17th century was a period which had an enormous impact on Ireland and the so-called ’Atlantic World.’”

For further details contact Nick Brannon at or phone 028 25882621 (mobile 07856986011).