Over 90 people braved the weather on Sunday afternoon to get up close and personal with Derry’s Walls and architectural gems.
The Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton and Mrs Rosemary Morton kindly allowed architectural historian, Prof Alistair Rowan, to take people on the guided tour of their home on Bishop’s Street Within.
The highlight of the tour were certainly the kitchens and servant’s rooms in the basement of the Deanery which have remained largely undisturbed for a generation or two.
The tours were organised by the Holywell Trust’s City Walls Heritage Project as part of a programme of activities to support buildings in the Walled City who opened for the DOE NIEA’s European Heritage Open Days. Other activities included a Walls Photo Workshop in the Verbal Arts Centre organised by Foyle Camera Club and demonstrations of the firing of Derry’s cannon at Shipquay Gate provided by the Playhouse and NPP.
Looking forward to next year, Mark Lusby, project co-ordinator, said: “The high level of interest shown by local people, both owners and visitors, in their built heritage is a signal to Holywell Trust, Foyle Civic Trust and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency that we need to start planning, now, for an even better programme for Heritage Open Days in the City of Culture year.
“Professor Rowan enthused everyone about the quality of the historic buildings in and around the Walled City, in spite of having lost so much of our city’s physical heritage since the publication of his book ‘The Buildings of Ireland, North West Ulster,’in 1979,” he said.