Northern Ireland news

Calls for historic cellars to be used as Derry walls museum

One of the ancient cellars discovered under Derry's Diamond.
Seamus McKinney

HISTORIC cellars discovered under Derry's city centre could be developed as a museum dedicated to the city's ancient walls.

The cellars, found under the Diamond, are believed to be the remains of an old city hall which was demolished in 1905.

Mark Lusby, who is coordinating plans to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the completion of Derry's walls in 2018, said the cellars would make a perfect museum.

In recent years a labyrinth of underground tunnels and cellars have been discovered throughout the city centre. While many of the tunnels are believed to be the remains of sewage systems, some are believed to date back to the Siege of Derry.

Mr Lusby said the cellars discovered at the Diamond, near the cenotaph, may have been used in the last century.

“There was a city hall completed in 1822 and we believe they are linked to that but the intriguing thing is that there is also evidence of 20th century development in the cellars. We've looked at maps which show they were possibly to be used during the Second World War or the Cold War, possibly for telecommunications,” he said.

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