Funding a must for future Boom Hall digs

One of the windows at Boom Hall.
One of the windows at Boom Hall.

The Department of the Environment said that any future archeological digs at the historic Boom Hall site would be reliant on fresh funding becoming available.

DoE officials were commenting after the local council confirmed they were in talks over the future of the site, which formed part of the Jacobite army’s base during the Siege of Derry.

The DoE was involved an dig at the site during the City of Culture year in 2013 to assess the suitability of the environs of Boom Hall as a site for a community-based archaeological project.

“It focused on an area which documentary and map evidence suggests was part of the Jacobite fortifications, close to the western side of the boom built across the Foyle as part of the siege. Two evaluation trenches were dug, but the results were disappointing. No definite evidence for the siege works was recovered and the only relevant finds were lead shot and a gun flint.

“Based on the results of the evaluation, Historic Environment Division has no immediate plans to carry out further excavation on the site.”

“However, he added, “this is obviously an area of key interest in the history of the area, and we would consider an application for further excavations here, provided the proposals are supported by both an appropriate research agenda and the necessary funding.”

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that the site at Boom Hall has been made secure and signs have been erected to ensure that members of the public are aware that the building is currently not safe for visitors.

She added: “The site itself is a key historical location in the city and any proposed development of the area will seek to acknowledge the built and natural heritage assets that exist within Boom Hall as well as the wider planning constraints unique to the site.”