Located inside the City Walls of Derry, this magical looking structure was first built in 1615 by Paddy O’Doherty to satisfy tax liability owed to the O’Donnell chieftans. The building on the site today is a reconstructed replica of the original medieval Tower.
Derry Tower Museum
O’Doherty’s Tower houses the popular Derry Tower Museum, a previous winner of the Irish Museum of the Year Award. Notable exhibits include:
- An area dedicated to Bishop Frederick Augustus Hervey (1763-1803), who lived an interesting life filled with varied achievements such as the construction of Downhill Castle on the cliffs that surround the city of Derry. He also carried on a long-term affair with the mistress of Frederick William III of Prussia.
- The ‘Story of Derry’ exhibition, which begins with exhibits about early Celtic monasticism and continues through the Siege of Derry in 1688-89, and forward to the events that led to the partition of the 1920’s as well as the Troubles to 1969 and the Battle of Bogside.
- A large area with extensive information about St Columba.
- All exhibits include audiovisual presentations and high tech interactive areas which are updated regularly. In fact, the renovation of the Story of Derry Area will be soon completed, with a new exhibit added:
The Armada Shipwreck, La Trinidad Valencera, tells the story of the Spanish Armada’s activities along the Irish Coast, and highlights the recovery of artifacts from the La Trinindad Valencera, which wrecked in 1588 and was located in 1971.
Tower Museum. Image: Tim Graffam