The Walls

Walls-600

The Walls

Work began on the construction of Derry’s Walls in May 1614 and was completed by March 1619 at a cost of over £10,000. But were they built to withstand a siege?

Lord Macauley in The History of England said of Lundy, “…he seems to have thought resistance hopeless; and in truth, to a military eye, the defences of Londonderry appeared contemptible. The fortification consisted of a single wall overgrown with grass and weeds: there was no ditch even before the gates: the drawbridges had long been neglected: the chains were rusty and could scarcely be used: the parapets and towers were built after a fashion which might well move disciples of Vauban to laughter; and these feeble defences were on almost every side commanded by heights. Indeed those who laid out the city had never meant that it should be able to stand a regular siege, and had contented themselves with throwing up works sufficient to protect the inhabitants against a tumultuary attack of the Celtic peasantry”

Lundy himself stated that the walls were “…misirably out of repair and surrounded with dunghills nere as High as themselves’ and recommended that the Council “…shou repayr what was defective in the place which otherwais wold on the ffirst Attaqe fall in to their hands’.