Derry’s oldest building set for heritage trail

The ruins of St Brecan's Chapel at St Columb's Park. (0611PG31)
The ruins of St Brecan's Chapel at St Columb's Park. (0611PG31)

Derry’s oldest known building could be included on the city’s heritage trail for the first time, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

The ruins of St Brecan’s chapel - located in St Columb’s Park in the Waterside - are thought to date back to the 6th century.

Now, a Derry City Council spokeswoman says a move to include the ruins on the heritage trail - a list of local sites of particular historic significance compiled primarily for visitors to the city- is underway.

“In relation to the former St Brecan’s Church, which is part of the historic St Columb’s Park, officers are currently working on its inclusion in the city’s wider Heritage Trail, as well as identifying new interpretation opportunities with the opening of the Peace Bridge.”

Heritage plans for the ruins, were put forward in the joint Council and Ilex Masterplan in 2006.

Then in 2009 Derry City Council told the ‘Journal’ it was pursuing “funding applications which will assist it in developing this important heritage site.”

The ruins date back to the 6th Century, and were rebuilt by Redmond O’Gallagher, Bishop of Derry from 1569 - 1601.

Archbishop Colton who undertook a tour inspection in 1397, writing that he crossed the Foyle and and came to the ‘parish church of St Brecan situated in the lands of Clone’.

St Brecan is said to have come to Ireland sometime between the 5th and 6th centuries, landing at the Aran islands before establishing several sites of worship across Ireland.