Ferryquay Gate

Ferryquay Gate (HM1CJK)

Location: Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT48 6QX Derry
Country: United Kingdom
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N 54° 59.671', W 7° 19.211'

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Locking the gates
In 1688 James II proposed to replace the Protestant garrison in the city with Catholic troops. Rumours were rife that the citizens were to be massacred. Meeting in the Diamond, the city leaders could not make up their minds whether to admit the new garrison. Fourteen young men - the 13 Apprentice Boys and their look-out - lost patience. They drew their swords, ran to the guard house, seized the keys to the city, raised the drawbridge of Ferryquay Gate, and shut and locked it. From that day the siege was only a matter of time.

Getting the message across
Extraordinary measures were called for during the 1689 siege. Leaving from the Ferryquay volunteers took messages between the defenders and the ships waiting to relieve the city. One small boy slipped through the lines of Jacobite troops with messages hidden in the gaiters that held up his stockings or sewn into a cloth button. On one occasion the message was conveyed in an animal's bladder concealed within the boy's body. The messages from within the city were grim - only five day's food left and men dropping dead from disease.

Ferry across the Foyle
From the 1620s ferries crossed the Foyle to the landing stage below Ferryquay Gate. Before the first wooden bridge was completed in 1791 passengers could wait for three hours to cross. In the early 20th century a ten minute ferry service took people from the railway station in Waterside to Queen's Quay behind the Guildhall. It was known as the Garrison Ferry because the open boats with petrol engines also carried soldiers across from Ebrington Barracks.

During the Troubles going to work or shopping could take longer than expected. The British Army set up checkpoints at the main gates into the city and at Craigavon Bridge. The city centre might be cleared during a bomb scare and streets were regularly closed due to bomb damage or protest marches. People were stopped by soldiers and asked for their personal details. They were sometimes searched.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 7:42pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)29U E 607464 N 6095471
Decimal Degrees54.99451667, -7.32018333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 54° 59.671', W 7° 19.211'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds54° 59' 40.26" N, 7° 19' 12.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304, 740
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3 Fountain St, Londonderry Northern Ireland BT48 6QX, GB
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