Tower Museum Derry - Derry
Tower Museum Derry is an award winning museum located in Union Hall Place, within a historic tower just inside the city walls of Derry. It is the city's top visitor attraction and O'Doherty Tower is a dominant landmark here, it is a modern replica of a medieval structure that was situated nearby.
The museum is a true gem, focusing on the local history in Derry, the city is one of the earliest inhabited settlements in Ireland and has a long and intriguing history. The museum covers the colourful, turbulent and divided history of this walled city from its geological formations, and first human inhabitants back in 7000BC through to current times. In the main part of the museum visitors are taken on a high-tech audio visual narrative tour of the Story of Derry, it covers aspects such as the troubles and the peace process, monastic times, plantation, the siege of Derry and its prosperity as a port in the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibition is spread out over a number of galleries and concludes with an insight into life in Derry in present times. All illustrated by a variety of techniques, models, life-size manikins and a vast collection of artefacts. There is also a Discovery Zone where visitors can learn more about the archaeology, dinosaurs, early inhabitants, Colmcille and the modern city.
The tower section is dedicated to a Spanish Armada exhibition, telling the story of La Trinidad Valencera, one of the biggest ships in the Armada flotilla. In 1588 it went under in Kinnagoe Bay in County Donegal during a violent storm and it was not until four hundred laters that it was uncovered by a dive club. The exhibition narrates the story of the divers who found it, the archaeologists who excavated the ship as well as the crew who were onboard. There is a collection of fascinating artefacts recovered from the wreck on display consisting of, canons, textiles, shoes, pottery, wooden bowls, pewter dishes, goblets and coins as well as numerous other items. The exhibits are well laid out and the audio-visual and interactive displays further enhance this exhibit.
A real bonus and a nice aspect of this museum is it unique open air viewing facility, it provides splendid panoramic views of the city and River Foyle.
In addition to its permanent exhibitions throughout the year it also hosts a selection of temporary and touring exhibitions and events, so there is always something new to see here.
Tower Museum Derry is open daily throughout the year and it is suggested to allow about an hour and thirty minutes for a visit. Audio guides are available in several languages.