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St Columb's CathedralPrehen WoodThe Playhouse, LondonderryThe Tower Museum contains two permanent exhibitions and hosts a number of touring exhibitions throug

Archaeology Days in Derry~Londonderry

As part of NIEA's contribution to the UK City of Culture 2013, we have made a special effort to encourage a wide range of activities in the city and the surrounding region. By working in partnership with several organisations, we hope that these events will help to highlight the area’s rich and fascinating heritage. The overall aim of the events is to contribute to the year's themes of exploration and joyous celebration in relation to the built heritage of Derry~Londonderry.

Defences of Culmore - a walking tour
Sunday 2nd June, 12pm
Explore the history of this important artillery fort by taking a tour with Manus Deery, a principal conservation architect within NIEA. Learn about the evolution of the site and how its military function influenced the surrounding area and the importance of the fort during the 1689 Siege of Derry.
The tour is free but booking is essential. The tour will last for 1.5 to 2 hours.
For further information or to book a place contact 02890 543188.

The ancient lanes of Prehen - a walking tour
Sunday 16th June, 1pm
The Prehen estate was established in the early 17th century and has remained one of the most enigmatic properties within the environs of Derry~Londonderry. This tour, led by George McLaughlin of the Prehen Historical and Archaeological Society, will explore the estates ancient lanes as well as the historic buildings that are still standing. Sneak a peek at the community dig and see what archaeological secrets are being uncovered.
The tour is free but booking is essential. The tour will last for 1.5 to 2 hours.
For further information or to book a place contact 02890 543188.

The Archaeology of the City
Friday, 14th June, 7.30pm, White Horse Hotel
Roy Hamilton of the Northwest Archaeological and Historical Society explores the archaeological heritage of the city of Derry~Londonderry and its environs.
For further information call 02890 543188.

Coastal Churches - a bus tour of medieval and post-medieval church sites
Saturday 8th June, 10am - 5pm
Scattered across the northwest region are dozens of historic church ruins ranging in date from the early Christian period right through to the 19th century. This tour will explore a select number of these sites including Downhill, St Aidan's, Ballykelly, Eglinton and Enagh. While some of the churches on our tour were built to serve the newly-established Plantation villages (as at Ballykelly and Eglinton) others may have had a more ancient past.
Tour departs from St Columb’s Park at 10am.
The tour is free but early booking is essential.
For further information or to book a place contact 02890 543188.

Columba Canticles - four centuries of song
Sunday, 9th June, 7.30pm, St Columb's Cathedral
Featuring the choirs of the Universities of Ulster and Aberdeen combined with the London Southbank Sinfonia, this promises to be a joyous and memorable occasion. Using song to tell the story of Derry~Londonderry’s rich history, this unique experience is not to be missed.
For further information contact 02871 268027.

The Return of Colmcille
Friday 7th June & Saturday 8th June, citywide
Taking place over two days, the city of Derry~Londonderry welcomes Colmcille home with a series of displays, processions and pageants. Watch as Colmcille meets characters from the city’s rich history and discovers how this once, small settlement has developed into a thriving cultural hub. Plus, see Colmcille do battle with the Loch Ness Monster!
For further information contact 02871 310560.

Buildings Through Time - a painted history of Derry~Londonderry
10th – 18th June, 9.30am - 9pm daily, Playhouse Theatre, Artillery Street
Manus Deery is a Principal Conservation Architect within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. This exhibition is a personal examination of the buildings of Derry~Londonderry and the influences upon them. The exhibition consists of 72 watercolours that illustrate the evolution of the city and its surroundings from ancient times to the present. The Derry~Londonderry of today is a complex city, one which has been influenced by its site, available materials and local traditions. It is a city with places of great beauty and a robust character; a city to be proud of. The exhibition is sponsored by Derry City Council's Heritage and Museum Service, The Inner City Trust and The Honourable The Irish Society.
Entry to the exhibition is open to the public and free.

The book of Kells, the great glories of Western art. Book launch and lecture
Wednesday, 5th June, 6pm, Tower Museum
James Joyce claimed the The Book of Kells 'is the most purely Irish thing we have.' But in actual fact the book may well have been created in the late 8th century on the island of Iona, where a monastery had been founded by Columcille. A new acclaimed edition of the Book Of Kells by Bernard Meehan, Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College, Dublin, offers new insights into its history and iconography; join him for a special illustrated talk on one of the great glories of Western art.
For further information contact 02871 372411.

Colm Cille: His Life and Legacy. Book launch and lecture
Thursday 6th June, 7pm, Tower Museum
Brian Lacey's new publication looks at what we can know about the real figure of Colmcille, distinguishing that from the wonderful yet fictional character which emerges from the stories that have developed over the last fourteen centuries. It places the facts and stories in the landscape of Ireland and Scotland, as well as the other places in Europe where the sites and monuments said to be associated with him and his followers are visible today. The book also draws on the astonishing amount of textual and archaeological scholarship relating to the saint that has appeared in the last fifteen years or so.
For further information contact 02871 372411.

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