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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Derry-Londonderry in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
 

Magazine Gate

 
 
Magazine Gate Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2012
1. Magazine Gate Marker
Inscription.

Fire power
Magazine Gate takes its name from the Plantation city's gunpowder store. The mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and fine charcoal had to be kept very dry as it easily absorbed water. A barrel of gunpowder and a pile of shot was placed beside each cannon when in use. The powder was carefully weighed and scooped into cloth or paper bags with a shovel before being packed inside the barrel of the cannon.

Ramrods, linstocks and wadhooks
Tools helped the team of gunners to fire a cannon and to have it ready for use again in the shortest possible time. The ramrod pushed the bag of powder right down the barrel and the 'pricker' burst the bag before firing. A 'match' of slow-burning cord at the end of a stick or linstock distanced the gunner from his gun when the fuse was lit. Cannon had to be cleaned between firings. The ramrod and wet sponge were used to damp down hot embers and clear out waste. A wadhood, a long pole with a screw at the end, helped to remove the packing round the charge.

A wolf spitting fire
In 1566 Elizabeth I of England sent over 1000 troops under Sir Philip Sidney to quell a local rebellion. A garrison was established and the cathedral used as a gunpowder store. According to an early 17th century writer They left nothing undefiled by their wickedness
Magazine Gate Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2012
2. Magazine Gate Marker
Looking east toward Guildhall in center background
but St. Columba did not long delay the punishment of their sin
. He sent 'a wolf of huge size and with bristling hair' spitting fire. Whether the spark that ignited the gunpowder came from the wolf or a nearby smithy the cathedral and much of the town were destroyed by an explosion. The garrison was abandoned shortly afterwards.

The lady in white
Ghosts walk the streets not only at Hallowe'en. An 18th century lady dressed in white has occasionally been reported walking down from the graveyard of St. Augustine's chapel, crossing a wooden bridge over Magazine Street and disappearing into Bridge House.
 
Location. 54° 59.85′ N, 7° 19.251′ W. Marker is in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in County Londonderry. Click for map. Marker is on the city wall walking path, within meters of the Tower Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT48 6LU, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Magazine Gate (a few steps from this marker); Guildhall Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Michael Browning (within shouting distance of this marker); Hangman's Bastion (within shouting distance of this marker);
Artillery on Derry City Wall image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2012
3. Artillery on Derry City Wall
Between Magazine & Shipquay Gates, just NE of the Tower Museum
Demi-culverin Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Demi-culverin Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Walled City (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Derry-Londonderry.
 
Also see . . .
1. The siege and history of Londonderry (Hempton, 1861). (Submitted on December 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. First English Garrison in Derry. (Submitted on December 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Historic Walls of Derry. (Submitted on December 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Artillery Through the Ages. (Submitted on December 28, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. DisastersForts, CastlesMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 307 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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