As a result of the Nine Years War, 1594-1603 and Flight of the Earls – 1607, Ulster was left leaderless and paved the way for plantation in Ulster.
The Honourable the Irish Society was established to manage the City of London’s affairs in Ireland in 1613.

The Walls in Derry were built during the period 1613-1618 as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland.
Nicholas Pynnar the official inspector of fortifications in Ireland reported the first official certification of the completeness of the Derry Walls on 28th March 1619.

By 1619, 92 houses including a school house, had been built within the walls, housing 102 families. Many of those inhabitants were part time farmers.
The cost of the walls and fortifications from 2nd January, 1609, to the year 1629 was £8,357.

For the defence of the city it was agreed, in 1674, to employ a workman to repair and maintain the walls.

The effects of the three Sieges in, in 1641, 1648 and in 1689, when it was besieged for 105 days by Jacobite troops were considerable, for many of the young settlement’s buildings had been destroyed, including the Market-House in the Diamond, the Cathedral tower and roof, and much of the walls and gates.

A break was made in the circuit of the walls at Richmond Street, located between the Newgate Bastion and the Water Bastion, in 1861.
In 2005 the surviving 24 cannon were restored. The city claims Europe’s largest collection of cannon whose origins are known precisely.

This is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.
‘Derry’s Walls’ are perhaps the most famous, visible and enduring physical legacy of the Plantation.

Precedents for the plantation:

  • 1591

    Elizabeth I’s Monaghan plantation

  • 1580

    Munster plantation

  • 1601

    Battle of Kinsale

  • 1594 - 1603

    Nine Years War

  • 1604

    The 1604 charter highlighted Derry’s obvious advantages ‘by reason of the natural seat and situation thereof, a place very convenient and fit to be made both a town of war and a town of merchandize’.

  • 1606

    ‘Private’ plantation scheme initiated by Hugh Montgomery and Sir James Hamilton on the lands of Conn O’Neill in south Clandeboye (counties Antrim and Down)

  • 1607

    Flight of the Earls (Leaderless Ulster) - Elizabeth’s defeat of O’Neill and his confederates, their subsequent ‘Flight’ and the ensuing rebellion of Sir Cathair O’Doherty paved the way for the Crown’s seizure of nearly 3.8 million acres of land for the plantation project

  • 1608

    Cathair O’Doherty’s Rebellion – Within a year of the flight Chair O’Doherty of Inishowen had been provoked into attacking Sir Henry Docwra’s garrison at Derry. This revolt was quickly quelled and O’Doherty killed, but the result was that the government decided to reduce drastically the power of the remaining Irish chiefs in Ulster. All the temporal lands in Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone had been either confiscated by or surrendered to the Crown. Almost immediately on hearing of O’Doherty’s death Chichester secured for himself a grant of the barony of Inishowen.

  • 1608

    After campaigning in Co. Donegal, Lord Deputy Chichester found the country as inaccessible as ‘the kingdom of China’, being ‘one of the most barren, uncouth, and desolate countries that could be seen, fit only to confine rebels and ill spirits into’.


Partner Logos