St Columb's Cathedral

Derry (Londonderry)

Built between 1628 and 1633 from the same grey-green schist as the city walls, this was the first post-Reformation church to be erected in Britain and Ireland, and is Derry's oldest surviving building.

In the porch (under the spire, by the St Columb's Court entrance) you can see the original foundation stone of 1633 that records the cathedral's completion. The smaller stone inset comes from the original church built here in 1164.

Also in the porch is a hollow mortar shell fired into the churchyard during the Great Siege of 1688–89; inside the shell were the terms of surrender. The neighbouring chapter house contains more historical artefacts, including paintings, old photos and the four huge padlocks used to secure the city gates in the 17th century.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Derry (Londonderry) attractions

1. Siege Museum


In a building adjoining the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, this museum celebrates the role of the 13 apprentice boys who in December 1688 locked the city…

2. Centre for Contemporary Art


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3. Free Derry Corner

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4. St Columba's Church


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5. Hands Across the Divide


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7. Bloody Sunday Memorial

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A simple granite obelisk that commemorates the 14 civilians who were shot dead by the British Army on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972.

8. Museum of Free Derry

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Just off Rossville St, this excellent museum chronicles the history of the Bogside, the Civil Rights Movement and the events of Bloody Sunday through…