4.1 Guild Hall Square, Port na Long

Ceàrnag an Talla Ghuild, Port na Long. © Tourism NI

In the medieval city, Guild Hall Square was Port na Long - ‘the port of the ships’ on the banks of the Foyle. This is was a main approach to medieval city. It was also the starting point of a medieval pilgrimage described by Manus O’Donnell in 1532, and is the start of our trail today. The Peace Bridge across the Foyle also leads here. The bridge allows good views of the city and is a good approach to the beginning of the pilgrim trail.

From the first station on the banks of the Foyle, the pilgrims walked up the hill. To follow the route today, go through Magazine Gate and past the Tower Museum, which recalls a medieval tower which also overlooked the pilgrim route.

The earliest account of Colmcille’s life, written around 700, tells of monks travelling between Iona and Derry. By the twelfth century, the abbey wrote of Colmcille leaving Derry for exile, followed by the cries of seagulls.

Several recent journeys have left Derry in a traditional curragh recreating Colmcille’s voyage. In medieval times, the Foyle An Feabhal was seen as one stretch of water from Magilligan under Benevenagh to where the Finn and Mourne rivers meet. There was no distinction between the lough and the river.

 

getting there

St Augustine's sits on the west side of the city walls as you climb the hill alongside Magazine Street.

The church is open to visitors from Easter to October Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm as well as on Sundays for services.


 
   
  • Guild Hall, Derry, Port na Long.
     

    4.1 Guild Hall Square, Port na Long.

    In the medieval city, Guild Hall Square was ‘Port na Long - ‘the port of the ships’ on the banks of the Foyle. This is was a main approach to medieval city.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    4.2 St Augustine's Church

    St Augustines may well be the site of Derry’s Columban monastery founded in the late 6th century.

  • Áras Cholmcille
     

    4.3 Áras Cholmcille

    Áras Cholmcille – the St Columba Heritage Centre – is in the grounds of the Long Tower church. It is an ideal place to get an overview of the stories of Colmcille, patron of the city.

  • Long Tower Church
     

    4.4 Long Tower Church

    This Catholic church was built near two important Christian landmarks in Derry. The round tower of Derry’s monastery was near here until the 17th century and gives the Long Tower Church its name.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    4.5 St Columb’s Well

    This holy well is the focus for a celebration on 9 June - Colmcille’s feast day.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    4.6 St Columb’s Cathedral

    St Columb’s Church of Ireland cathedral was built between 1628 and 1633. Despite the long history of settlement here, this is Derry’s oldest surviving building.