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Derry-Londonderry in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
 

Church Bastion

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

The watchers and the watched
There have been watchers on the walls for centuries. In 1627 two watch towers were built near the Cathedral after the guards complained about having to do duty in the rain. In the 19th century the bastions became gardens and most watch towers were demolished: one still survives near here. During the Troubles the British army erected sangars close to the walls to watch over the city. The towers combined accommodation for soldiers with high technology communications equipment which allowed them to see for miles. The sangar in Bishop Street, part of the wider Border control, was clad in stone to 'blend in' with the historic townscape.

Looking in, looking out
In 1987 artist Antony Gormley installed three cast iron figures on the walls as part of a temporary exhibition. One side of each figure looked into the city and the other out towards the Fountain, the Bogside and Ebrington Barracks. The figure represented the two communities divided by religion, culture and politics but united by faith and by being members of the human race. The hollow eye sockets invited the viewer to explore the two opposing landscapes. The figures provoked strong local reaction. At the end of the exhibition the figures that stood here were sold. Gormley gifted one figure to the city which now
Church Bastion Marker and Demi-culverin Cannon image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2012
2. Church Bastion Marker and Demi-culverin Cannon
stands outside the Millennium Forum.

Sally forth
A maze of tunnels runs under the city. They were built in the 17th century to allow soldiers to move around without having to go above ground. The sally port or entrance to the Wapping Tunnel, which led to the Cathedral can still be seen near here on the outside of the walls.

Restoring the cannon
All the surviving cannon have been restored to their original glory in the last decade, including these two guns gifted by the Merchant Taylors' Company of London in 1642. Craftsmen cleared the barrels of centuries of rubbish including parts of a clay pipe, a George III penny, an American cent, a pocket watch, three glass marbles and the bones of a small rodent. Roaring Meg was relieved of 'litres of malodorous soup' which had accumulated in her bore. Stripped of layers of paint and corrosion, the cannon were bathed, sponged and accurately mounted on field carriages of a mid-17th century design.
 
Location. 54° 59.596′ N, 7° 19.397′ W. Marker is in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in County Londonderry. Click for map. Marker is on the Church Bastion of the City Wall, about 40 meters south of St Columb's Cathedral. Marker is in this post office area: Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT48 6RQ, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Demi-culverin Cannon (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Demi-culverin Cannon (a few steps from this marker); St Columb's Cathedral (within shouting distance of this marker); The Walled City (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Bishop's Gate (about 120 meters away); a different marker also named Bishop's Gate (about 120 meters away); New Gate (about 120 meters away); Double Bastion (about 150 meters away). Click for a list of all markers in Derry-Londonderry.
 
Also see . . .
1. Derry's Walls. (Submitted on January 1, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Antony Gormley - Sculpture for Derry Walls, 1987. (Submitted on January 1, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Ordnance at the end of the Elizabethan Age. (Submitted on January 1, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMan-Made FeaturesPeacePolitics
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 325 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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