A city fit for war and merchandise...for ever a free, entire and perfect city and county of itself, to be called the city and county of Derrie.
Charter from James I, 1604
One City...Fifty Names
All of the city's names over the centuries refer back to the Irish 'daire' or 'doire' - the oak grove. The oldest is Daire Calgach, suggesting that a fierce warrior may have had a fortress here in pre-Christian times. In the 12th century the settlement was known as Doire Cholmcille to honour St Colm Cille or Columba. The prefix 'London' was added in 1613 to acknowledge the support of the City of London Companies.
The skeleton and the castle
Look for the coat of arms on the wall and above the gates. It combines the city's Gaelic roots and later associations with the City of London. The lower part, with its shield, castle and skeleton sitting on 'a mossie stone', was in use by 1600. The skeleton may belong to the young Norman knight Walter de Burgo who starved to death in the dungeon of Greencastle. His cousin William had blocked up the entrance during a family feud in 1322. The cross of St George with an Irish harp in the centre, and the sword of St Paul, the original arms of the City of London, were added in 1613 when the city received its charter.