Our own beautiful, historic city walls will be the focal point this weekend as the public are invited to come along and help celebrate ‘Derry’s Walls Day’ this Sunday, August 25.
Derry Walls Day 2013 was officially launched on Wednesday past as part of National Heritage Week, with Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan, Irish Arts Minister, Dinny McGinley TD, Derry’s Mayor, Colr Martin Reilly, and the Holywell Trust. A special 400th birthday cake was also created.
St Columb’s Cathedral proved a fitting venue for the launch as events taking place this Sunday will also herald the start of Walls400 - a five-year programme of activities celebrating the quatercentenary of our greatest built heritage from 2013 until 2018.
Two big events will take place this Sunday - a mile-long ‘Wave on the Walls’ which will be photographed from the air and a ‘1613 Charter Market at the Ship Key’, which will see Guildhall Square transformed into a Living History Square until 5pm. The ‘1613 Charter Market at the Ship Key’ begins at 12.30pm and will see Derry experience some of what made life colourful when Springham and Smithes arrived in Derry to first mark out the site for the Walls in August 1613.
The Holywell Trust’s Mark Lusby, City Walls Heritage Project, said: “Derry Walls Day is the only event in the entire City of Culture year which explores the actual events taking place on the island of Derry 400 years ago. This month in 1613, a fusion of three cultural legacies would have taken place, and we will recreate that in Sunday’s market.
“We have living history performers in authentic costumes from London, Dublin and Antrim, sword-fight demonstrations, pottery, livestock and The Playhouse has been commissioned to do a theatrical farce too. Shipquay Place will be transformed back to what it might have been like as a Ship Key, before it became Guildhall Square.” www.walls400.com