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Apprentice Boys Of Derry

Apprentice Boys Of Derry Memorial Hall


Apprentice Boys Of Derry Memorial Hall, Society Street, Londonderry


18 th December 1867
At a meeting in Corporation Hall, the Diamond, Londonderry. The following resolution by the then Governor of the Apprentice Boys, Bro John Guy Ferguson, was passed. "We The Apprentice Boys and Citizens here assembled pledge ourselves to take immediate steps to provide a Hall for Protestant Meetings and Commemorative Purposes."

A design in the Scottish Fortified Baronial style of architecture was addopted. A site known as Foys Factory at the corner of Society Street - Magazine Street, which had been purchased at a cost of 300 pounds was, made avaliable.

Encouraged by a Magnificent contribution of 300 pounds, from C.E. Lewis Esq. MP, working plans were prepared.
On 12th August 1873 the Memorial Stone for the New Hall was laid by Alderman John Ewing Miller M.D. J.P. in the presence of an immence concourse of Apprentice Boys ,Citizens and Protestants from all parts of the Kingdom.
The building was Dedicated in the Memory of the Brave Thirteen Apprentice Boys, who closed the City Gates in 1688.

Plans for the enlargement of the Hall, were first considered. Two small houses, at 450 pounds, and later a larger house at 700 pounds, adjoining the Hall were purchased.

After the Great War, YE OLD SIEGED INN was purchased at the cost of 600 pounds.

Foundation Stones were laid on 12th August 1836 by Senator Capt. J.M. Wilton M.C. J.P. Mayor, on belalf of the Apprentice Boys, and on 13th July 1837 by Bro Matthew Kerr D.G.M.I. C.G.M. on behalf of the City Grand Lodge.

On Sunday 12th December 1937 at 3 o'clock the Opening and Dedication Ceremony took place. Full Civic honours were accorded to the ceremony.

The Hall was officially opened by Viscountess Craigavon
Builders: F.B. McKee & Co Ltd Belfast
Architect: J.A. Davidson Esq. F.R.I.B.A.

The Hall has remained virtually unchanged to the present day. As with many of the major buildings built around the same time as the Hall, this form of construction lends itself to deterioration when exposed to the natural forces of the wind and rain. The situation has possibly been hastened over the last number of years, with the Hall being hit by a number of bombs placed in the area. It is impossible to determine the long term effect these bombs will have on the exterior of the Hall.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall now houses the Siege Exhibition and is home to the famous Roaring Meg Canon used throughout the Siege. This building was originally opened in 1877 and is neo gothic Medieval Facade with Tudor tendencies and is one of finest buildings standing on the West Wall overlooking the Brandywell and Bogside. Visits to the hall may be arranged by calling during morning opening hours.

Time marches on and the Trustees felt they had no option but to proceed with repairs to the Hall.

The repairs to the exterior of the building are now complete with the total cost being in the region of £400,000 but the work continues. A Service of Thanksgiving was held in St Columbs Cathedral on Sunday 4th June 1995 to mark the Re-Dedication of the Hall after the repairs.

As with any building of this size and style continous repairs are required. It is hoped that all those who appreciate the importance of this work, will assist with the payment of the same. in the form of a financial donation to the Hall.

Any donation no matter how small will help.
You can send donations to:

The Trustees,
Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall,
13 Society Street,

(Cheques to be made payable to :The Trustees App.)

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