Get digging at Prehen

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A dig that could unearth the remnants of a Plantation era fort is underway in one of Derry’s richest areas of archaeological history - and the public are being urged to get involved.

The dig, organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and archaeologists from Queens University, began on Tuesday at Prehen House. An exploratory dig two months ago has uncovered evidence that a Plantation Fort may have been sited there.

You can follow the dig online at as well as via Twitter @PrehenDig

But real enthusiasts are being urged to get on site and get their hands dirty.

Anyone wanting to get involved should contact the North West Volunteer Centre, 22 Bishop Street, tel@ 71271017, email

The dig area will be open to the public this afternoon, and on June 14 and 21, between 2-4pm. A special family fun day will also be held on June 22 when visitors can come along and meet some of Prehen’s 17th century residents.

George McLaughlin of the Prehen Historical and Environmental Society says the dig is a “ unique opportunity” for the Derry public to explore the archaeology of one of Derry’s most historic areas.

As part of the archaeology days programme there will also be a tour of local potential archaeological dig sites. The ancient pathways tour will include the Foyle Fisheries Ice House, the site of the Castle, Bawn and Souterians at Newbuildings, the ancient Abbey and Nunnery at Rossnagalliagh and the old Prehen village.

Mr McLaughlin will lead this tour, which starts and ends at Prehen House, on Sunday, June 16. It gets underway at 1pm and free transport is provided.