Derry’s buildings down the years superbly illustrated in paintings

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN... The old Tillie and Henderson shirt factory at Carlisle Circus is one of the water colours featured in the 'Marks of Time' expo.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN... The old Tillie and Henderson shirt factory at Carlisle Circus is one of the water colours featured in the 'Marks of Time' expo.

Manus Deery’s impressive paintings show the changing face of the city and region...

‘Marks of Time’, an exhibition of 72 watercolours illustrating the development of buildings in the city and region from earliest times, will be on show next weekend - September 14 and 15 - at the former Northern Counties Club building on Bishop Street.

Part of the European Heritage Open Days weekend of events, the exhibition is free and consists of drawings which show the long history of the city and the connection of its buildings to European as well as local influences.

Illustrations include drawings of Grianan, tower houses, gothic arches, the Walls, merchant buildings, industrial buildings and the city’s modern architecture.

The show will be held in the Edwardian surroundings of the Northern Counties Club.

This is one of the city’s hidden architectural gems and well worth visiting in its own right.

After a long period of vacancy, the building is about to be rescued and given a sustainable new use by the Inner City Trust.

The exhibition has been assembled by Manus Deery, Principal Conservation Architect in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, as a personal contribution to the UK City of Culture.

An accompanying book, with 150 illustrations by the author on the same theme, is published by Guildhall Press and is available in local bookshops.

The project has been made possible with the support of Derry City Council Heritage and Museum Service, The Honourable the Irish Society and the Inner City Trust.

Manus Deery is an architect who lives in the city and is employed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

In that capacity he is in charge of the listing programme for Northern Ireland.

He has a long standing interest in the buildings and history of the city.

Earlier this year, he told the ‘Journal’ that, with the exception of St Brecan’s Church, which was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, none of Derry’s medieval buildings survive.

“There are no maps or drawings to go on and the Annals don’t give detailed descriptions,” he wrote in an article for the paper.

“We do know, however, what the principal buildings were called and the position of some features like St Columb’s Wells,” he said. “From evidence elsewhere in Ireland, we also know what these buildings may have looked like.

“By the tenth century, such buildings began to be replaced in stone and builders copied the form of the timber predecessors which now had a symbolic meaning. The tomb of the founding saint at Banagher is a well preserved miniature example. It shows the steeply pitched stone roof and projecting side walls found in surviving churches.”

European Heritage Open Days is coordinated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The “Marks of Time” event is one of 68 being held in the city and county on the weekend.