I was very much of two minds as to whether or not to do a review of this courtyard which forms part of the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall. My picture above will suggest why a review is perhaps unwarranted. Not only has the Good Reverend George Walker disappeared from his plinth on the City Walls but he also seems to have disappeared from the Walker Memorial Courtyard! Let me explain.
This small courtyard was opened in 1992 as home to a statue of the Reverend Walker, Governor of the City in 1689 (Picture 2 – From Apprentice Boys Website). Walker defended the city against the forces of James II in the latter’s attempt to regain the British throne, lost to Protestant King William III. In so doing, Walker guided and supported the citizens though the famous 105 days Siege of Derry.
The statue that was previously here, and the whereabouts of which I have been unable to ascertain*, was a copy of the statue that sat on top of a 25 metres high column on the nearby City Walls plinth. The column and statue were both destroyed by terrorists in a 1973 bomb attack. Only Walker’s head survived that attack and this, I understand, is on display in the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall Museum (next to this courtyard).
Next to Walker used to be a brass plaque affixed to the wall and dedicated to the “Heroes of the Great Siege”. The plaque, which has also disappeared, listed the names of the 13 Apprentice Boys who closed the City Walls Gates on 7 December 1688.
* There had been talk of building a larger museum on the site of the courtyard – perhaps this is about to happen hence the removal of the Reverend Walker and the copper plaque. Interestingly though two small cannon and what looks like a weather vain in the shape of a clipper ship – perhaps the Mountjoy remain in the courtyard.
Address: Society Street
Directions: Next to the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall Museum – City Walls west side.
This entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on many trips to Londonderry/Derry. I suggest you continue with my next entry – The Guildhall – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – The City on the Foyle.