Derry, or Londonderry is Northern Ireland’s second city and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. It is one of the few walled cities never to have been breached earning it the nickname; The Maiden City.
Derry’s First Inhabitants
The City has its origins in a 6th century Christian monastery which was founded on the hill of Doire to the east of the River Foyle. The site was allegedly granted by a local king who had a fortress there. A similar kind of fortress can be seen at the spectacular Gríanán of Aileach, a few miles west of the city in County Donegal. According to legend the monastery of Doire was established by the great Irish saint Columba . According to long held local tradition the location of the first church was where the beautiful St. Columba’s Long Tower Church stands today.
The modern City however is much younger, dating back only to 1623. It was laid out according to the best contemporary principles of town planning, imported from the continent (the original street lay-out has survived to the present almost intact). More importantly, the city was enclosed by massive stone and earthen fortifications. At the time, it was the largest planned settlement in the British Isles. It was the last walled city built in Ireland and the only city on the island whose ancient walls survive complete.
Landmarks of Derry
Today Derry is well known for the quality of it’s architecture and its many historic buildings. The world’s oldest independent department store, Austins, established in 1830 and pre-dating Harrods by 15 years. The top floor of the store hosts a large restaurant with splendid views of the historic City Centre. The City also boasts two Cathedrals one dating back to 1633. The City also hosts the Amelia Earhart Centre commemorating her landing in Derry after her transatlantic flight.
There are several other museums in the City, including: The Workhouse Museum a restored 19th-century workhouse and The Tower Museum opened in 1992 and has won the Irish and British Museum of the Year awards. The Tower Museum houses two permanent exhibitions, whilst also hosting temporary and travelling exhibitions throughout the year. The ‘Story of Derry’ exhibition has reopened following extensive refurbishment work. It is a multi-media retrospective on the city’s history. The museum also houses ‘An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera’ exhibition. The exhibition contains artefacts recovered in Kinnagoe Bay, County Donegal, in the 1970s, from a galleon shipwrecked in 1588.
Property in Derry
Like most of Northern Ireland, the property market in Derry has been increasingly buoyant for most of the last decade. However prices have recently been hit hard by the Global Economic downturn, with prices dropping 34% in 2009. This means that property is currently somewhat under priced.
Energy Performance Certificates EPC
According to new government regulations any property for sale or to let in Derry will require an Energy Performance Certificate EPC. This certificate shows the potential buyer or tenant the energy rating of the property, the annual fuel costs and a list of recommended improvements that save energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions. Epc4less is an established supplier of EPCs for homeowners and landlords and operate in Derry and throughout Northern Ireland. Their current offers can be found at www.epc4less.com