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The Siege Museum is a major visitor attraction and a model of how a community can embrace its history and contribute towards healing rather than division. Our aim is to develop a guided programme that engages with all communities and visitors.
The Siege Museum is unique as it is the only location dedicated towards commemorating the heritage of the Siege. Visitors will relive the most memorable event in the city’s history, stand with the defenders as they guarded the walls, suffer with the citizens as they defended their existence by surviving 105 days of famine, disease, fever, and onslaught. Over 8,000 inhabitants perished inside the walls during the siege. Visitors will hear about some of the siege heroes who inspired the citizens to maintain their resolve. Men like Walker, Mitchelburne, Baker, Browning and Murray who, despite their ongoing deprivation and sacrifice, endured the relentless assaults of the enemy and valiantly defended their city until relief was forthcoming.
Following the guided tour of the museum, visitors will be invited to explore the meeting rooms of the various orders that use the Memorial Hall. The hall is the only venue that has rooms dedicated to each of these historical and cultural organisations. Visitors will hear a brief history of the orders and their purpose and relevance today. This will include the Orange Institution, the Ladies Orange Order and the Royal Black Preceptory. There will be an opportunity to listen to an explanation about the stained-glass windows in the Apprentice Boys Meeting Room, the portraits of past Governors, the history of the Memorial Hall and an exclusive opportunity to take home a photograph sitting in the Governor’s Chair. Participants will understand the relevance of the two main processions organised by the Apprentice Boys Association to commemorate the Siege. The Relief of Londonderry parade on the 2nd Saturday in August and the Shutting of the Gates Parade on the 1st Saturday in December.
Perhaps a more memorable souvenir is the chance of a photograph beside the 20ft. effigy of the siege traitor Lundy. Constructed each year by members of the Apprentice Boys Association and set alight as a finale to the annual Shutting of the Gates Parade.
Visitors will then follow the guide to the city walls and proceed along the short distance of Grand Parade to Walker’s Plinth at Royal Bastion. The Plinth is the remains of a pillar built between 1826 – 1828 and commemorates the Rev. George Walker, governor of the city during the siege of 1689. Sadly, the pillar was destroyed in a bomb explosion in 1973. However, from the summit of the plinth visitors will still obtain a panoramic view of the western area of the city. They will see the flow of the River Foyle and understand why the area was previously known as the island of Derry. The guide will relate to significant locations on the walls relating to the siege. These will include First Derry Presbyterian Church, St. Agustine’s Church and St. Columb’s Cathedral. The guide will describe locations along the walls relevant and important to the defence of the city. Information will be conveyed describing Grand Parade, Royal Bastion, Double Bastion and Bishop’s Gate. All important locations concerning the great siege of 1689. The explanation, engagement and interaction will ensure an exciting, educational, and enjoyable day in the Maiden City.
This unique 90-minute guided tour is exclusive to the walled city and available only with guides conducting visits on behalf of the Siege Museum.
No visit to Derry / Londonderry is complete without visiting the Siege Museum, viewing the meeting rooms of the orders, standing on top of Walker’s Plinth and reliving the Great Siege, the most significant and memorable event in our historic walled city.