January 24th, 2023
Around the corner on Bishop Street is the former Northern Counties Club remodelled in 1902 by the same architect Alfred Forman. Full of spikes and bays this was a gentleman's club until the early 2000's. After a long period of vacancy it was bought by the Inner City Trust and remodelled as a boutique hotel. which opened in 2016. The works retained the Edwardian grandeur of the interior, with its magnificent staircase, inglenook fire place and fine function rooms on the first floor overlooking the street.
January 08th, 2023
Opposite the Guildhall are the City Walls. These were built between 1613 and 1618 and once bordered on the river or 'Ship Quay'. The walls are earthen with a stone facing over a metre thick and the original construction is below the string course. The monument was raised along this section in the nineteenth century to increase its impressiveness.
Walk across to Magazine Gate in the distance.
April 12th, 2020
Happy lockdown Easter everyone. This is part of my back garden, where I was sitting and sketching yesterday. At least the sun has been shining!
Finally, in Dunseverick Park, the house he bought on his retirement in 2000. The location for many family events
Foyle U3A building, Gransha estate, Derry. The modernist extension by Michael Carr of Michael Hegarty Architects was completed in 2012. The extension more than doubled the accommodation available to members and includes art rooms, sports facilities, and a large muti-disciplinary hall. My dad managed the development of the idea and organised bids for funding from the Arts Council and Sports NI. He acted as client when engaging with the design team and in thanks the U3A named the multi- disciplinary hall after him - the Pat Deery Hall.
St Columb's College, Bishop Street, Derry, where my dad was a student in the 1950's and a teacher in the 1960's
Now Lumen Christi College, the site was the location of a 'casino' for Earl Bishop Hervey in the late eighteenth century (the term casino in 18th century Italian means little house and was often used to describe a small classical residence within a wider estate). The site was sold to the Catholic Church in 1869, for the development of a seminary, and the three story house on the left of this drawing was constructed by 1877. The North Wing followed in 1893. In 1898, the museum library and recreation hall (far left) was completed. The composition was finished in 1941 with the demolition of the casino (which had been converted to a chapel) and the construction of the current chapel. This results in a memorable Gothic form of spikey roofs and dormers on the top of a hill.
Following the 1947 Education Act, attendance at the school trebled and this resulted in the erection of temporary classrooms in the school grounds (one of which was my Dad's maths class for much of the 1960's). The school opened a new site at Buncrana Road in 1973 with this building continuing as the junior school until, with a further extension at Buncrana Road, the school left completely in 1997. A co-educational grammar school - Lumen Christi- was then established in these buildings.
Derry Tech, then the North West Institute of Further and Higher Education, where dad taught for 28 years, retiring in 2000 as Deputy Director.
February 09th, 2020
The Second Glendermott Presbyterian Congregation formed in 1744 when a disagreement on doctrinal matters occurred between the Minister of the First Congregation and his elders. According to the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of 1834 'the Minister could not in all conscience with the Church of Scotland, comply with some change that the elders attempted to force upon him' . He left an set up a new congregation. His church is still standing at the bottom of Church Brae. Over the door is a small slate plaque 'W Hare 1744'. The building is now used as a carpet showroom as the congregation reunited at the beginning of the twentieth century. The church has a T plan similar to the First Congregation church. Unusually it has an external ramp at the rear which formerly gave access to the first floor balcony.
February 08th, 2020
Another house nearby is understood to date from around the same period. This is Millbrook House. It exterior has been much altered with the addition of 'half timbered' decoration outside and a 1990's porch/ conservatory at the front, but inside its very thick dividing walls betray its age and some eighteenth century detail survives. The building is thought to have been a Presbyterian manse at one stage but its name also indicates a probable association with nearby mills. Two mills on the nearby river are described in the 1830 Ordnance Survey Memoirs one described as having a wheel '18 feet in diameter'. The building has a very interesting garden to the rear enclosed by tall old beech trees. Local tradition has that thirteen of these were planted to commemorate the thirteen apprentice boys of Derry. There are now only 10 trees and it is understood that three at the end were removed as part of the extension of nearby Glenshane Road in the 1960's.
February 02nd, 2020
The next date of note in the area is 1729 when the Goldsmiths Company sold their lands to the Earl of Shelbourne. By 1740 he had sold this on to the Earl of Bessborough. The company did retain some involvement in the area donating funds to the new Church of Ireland Church when constructed in 1753 and funding other projects to the end of the nineteenth century.
The mid eighteenth century was a busy time for construction throughout all of Ireland as things settled down after the upheavals of the previous century. One house in this area reflects the type of settled landlord houses being built throughout this period. Brookhill House is a relatively small example of the type and was constructed in 1795 for the landlord of what were described as 'church lands' at the time of the Plantation. Situated with its back to Ardlough Road, the building looks out to fine views across the Faughan Valley. The central entrance porch is Victorian and more ornate than the original Georgian door with fanlight behind but it harmonises with the earlier house.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West of Ireland and further afield with a little information about their history.