Derry takes its name from the Irish word ‘Doire’ meaning oak grove. Oak groves were regarded as sacred places for the ancient Celts before Christianity arrived. This area was originally a small wooded island surrounded by marshy land which later became known as ‘the Bogside’. St Colmcille founded a monastery here in the 6th century. He also went on to found Iona in 563 a.d kick-starting Christianity going back to the European continent after the collapse of the Roman Empire. In the centuries that followed, Derry became known as Doire Cholmcille in dedication to this important saint. In 1164 a great church known as Teampall Mór was built here, this was subsequently demolished for stone 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 Renaissance style with the support of Frederick Augustus Hervey, the Anglican Bishop of Derry. Have a look inside…It’s interior is stunning and could match any church in Rome.