Derry takes it’s name from the Irish word ‘doire’ meaning oak grove. Oak groves were regarded as sacred places in the pre-Christian times for the Celtic pagan peoples. The original settlement here was a monastery founded in the 6th century and this sat on a wooded island surrounded by wetland which later became known as ‘The Bogside’. Derry is closely linked to St Colmcille who also founded a monastery on Iona in 563 a.d (off the coast of Scotland). In the centuries that followed, Derry became known as Doire Cholmcille in dedication to the saint and was an important part of the Columban community of monasteries with many monks travelling between the two places and beyond. In 1164 a great church known as Teampall Mór was built here whose stones were later used to build parts of the Derry Walls! This present church was built in 1810 and was Derry’s first post-reformation Catholic church. It was built in a neo-Renaissance style with the support of the Frederick Augustus Hervey, the Anglican bishop of the time. Have a look inside…It’s interior is stunning and could match any church in Rome.

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