A special exhibition opens in the Tower Museum this week focusing on the story of Londonderry’s historic cannon, marking National Heritage Week.
The week is a celebration of local heritage sites encouraging people to explore some of the fascinating historic assets right on their own doorstep and enjoy a wide range of heritage related events.
It also coincides with the City’s Walls 400 programme which this year marks the 400th anniversary of the City’s historic Walls.
The exhibition opened on Monday and will run until August 25, highlighting the story of what is regarded to be Europe’s largest collection of cannon of known provenance.
Once known for their deafening thunder unleashed during the two 17th century sieges, the cannon now have a more peaceful role in ornamenting the bastions and ramparts of the Walled City.
The exhibition provides insights into how the cannon were used, lost and restored over the past 400 years and will also display a collection of mortar and cannon artefacts.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said: “The Walls have come to life this summer with a wide range of animation and events marking their historic 400 year anniversary.
She added: “This exhibition will shine a light on one of the most important historic assets associated with the Walls story, and reveals more about the origins of the historic cannon that played such a key role in some of the city’s most dramatic events.”
The exhibition is part of a longer term project to raise awareness of the significance of the cannon to ensure their future preservation.
The project is led by Derry City and Strabane District Council and is supported by the Heritage Council for Ireland’s Irish Walled Towns Network.
Maura Fitzpatrick, Heritage Development Officer with the council, said: “While the exhibition is an opportunity to showcase some of the artefacts we hold in the cannon collection, the focus is very much on the long-term preservation and promotion of these artefacts as a valuable historic asset for the city.
“We are fortunate that we know so much about the provenance of these cannon so it is important that we preserve them for future generations.”