County Londonderry , also known as County Derry (Irish: Contae Dhoire , Ulster Scots: Coontie Lunnonderrie ), is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Adjacent to the northwest shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2074 km² (801 sq mi) and has a population of about 247,132. It is also one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as part of the historical province of Ulster.

Since 1981 it has become one of the four counties of Northern Ireland which has a Catholic majority (55.56% according to the 2001 census [4] ), with 57% of the Catholic population living in the Derry City Council. [4] The provincial flower is the purple saxifrage. [5]


The place name Derry is a Anglicisation of the old Irish Daire [6] (Modern Irish Doire [7] ), which means “oak grove” or “oak-wood”. [8]

As with the city, its name is subject to the name dispute Derry / Londonderry, the form “Londonderry” generally preferred by members and “Derry” by nationalists. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] The British authorities use the name “Londonderry”, while “Derry” used by Ireland.



Mount Proportion located near Coleraine in County Londonderry is “perhaps the oldest recorded settlement in Ireland”. [14] [15]

County Coleraine and Plantation of Ulster

At an early period, what was the County Coleraine inhabited by O’Cahans, which was tributary of O’Neill. Towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth I of their territory seized by England, with the purpose of checking the power of O’Neill and was County Coleraine, named after the regional capital.

A brief description of the County Coleraine gives Harris’s Hibernica , and also from Captain Pynnar’s Survey of Escheated counties in Ulster, Anno 1618 : The County of Coleraine * otherwise called O’Cahan country is divided, as Tyrone by ballyboes and doth contain as appeareth by the survey, 547 ballyboes, or 34.187 acres, each ballyboe containing 60 acres or thereabouts. be united, consolidated and from here-forth forever be a whole county in themselves distinct and separate from all our counties anywhere within our Kingdom, Ireland and hereafter forever named stood and cried, County Londonderry. [16]

On 2 March 1613, James I granted a charter to The Honourable The Irish Society to carry out the planting of a new county. [16] The county was named Londonderry, a combination of London (referring to the Livery Companies in Irish Society) and Derry name since the the city). This Charter declared that “the City of Londonderry” and all that is in the new county:

This new county would include former County Coleraine which consisted of baronies of Tirkeeran, Coleraine, and Keenaght -and on behalf of The Irish Society following additional territory added: everyone except the southwest corner of the Barony of Loughinsholin, then part of County Tyrone, because it had enough wood for construction, northeastern freedoms of Coleraine, which was part of County Antrim and the city of Londonderry and its freedoms, and that was in County Donegal, so that they could control both banks of the river Foyle and river Bann. [ 16] [17] [18]

The Irish Society consisted of twelve main livery business in London, which in turn consisted of various guilds. While Irish society as a whole, got possession of the city of Londonderry and Coleraine, was the individual companies each issued approximately 3,210 acres throughout the county.These companies and locations of their headquarters were: [19] [20]

  • Clothworkers, based in Killowen and Clothworker Hall (today Articlave) in the barony of Coleraine
  • Drapers, based on Drapers Hall, later called Draperstown (today Moneymore) in the Barony of Loughinsholin. [21]
  • Fishmongers, based on Artikelly and Fishermonger Hall (today Ballykelly) in the barony of Keenaght
  • Goldsmiths, based on Goldsmith Hall (today’s new construction) in the barony of Tirkeeran
  • The Food, based on Grocer Hall, aka Muff (today Eglinton) in the barony of Tirkeeran
  • Haberdashers, based on Habberdasher Hall (today Bally) in the barony of Keenaght
  • Ironmonger, based on Ironmonger Hall (today townland of Agivey) in the barony of Coleraine
  • Peddlers, based on Mercer Hall (today townland of Movanagher) in the barony of Coleraine
  • Merchant Taylors, based at Merchant Taylors Hall (today Macosquin) in the barony of Coleraine
  • Salters, based on Salter Hall (today Magherafelt) and Salter Town in the barony of Loughinsholin
  • Skinner, based on Skinner’s Hall (today Dungiven) in the barony of Keenaght
  • Winegrowers, based on Vintner’s Hall, later called Vintner Town (today Bellaghy) in the barony of Loughinsholin

19th century

As a result of the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, the city was independent from the county for administrative purposes, to become a separate county borough from 1899, the county town of County Londonderry, and the seat of Londonderry county until its abolition in 1973, moved to city Coleraine.


The highest point in the county is the top of Sawel Mountain (678 meters (2,224 ft)) on the border with County Tyrone. Sawel is part of the Sperrin Mountains, which dominate the southern part of the county. To the east and west, the land falls in Dalarna in Bann and Foyle rivers respectively; in southeastern touches county shore of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland; the northern part of the county is characterized by steep cliffs, sand dunes and stunning beaches of the Atlantic coast.

The county is home to a number of important buildings and landscapes, including the well-preserved 17th century city walls of Derry, the National Trust-owned Plantation estate in Spring, Mussenden Temple with its spectacular views of the Atlantic; the dikes, artificial coastlines and the designated bird sanctuary on the eastern shore of Lough Foyle; and visitor center at Bellaghy Bawn, near the childhood home of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. In the middle of the county’s old forests at Banagher and Ness Wood, where Burntollet flows over the highest waterfall in Northern Ireland.



Main article: baronies Ireland

  • Cole
  • Keenaght
  • North East Liberties of Coleraine
  • North West Liberties of Londonderry
  • Loughinsholin
  • Tirkeeran


Main article: List of civil parishes in County Londonderry


Main article: List of townlands in County Londonderry



(Population of 75,000 or more with a cathedral)

  • Derry


(population of 18,000 or more and 75,000 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Cole

means towns

(population of 10,000 or more and 18,000 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Limavady

small towns

(population of 4,500 or more and 10,000 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Magherafelt
  • Stewart

intermediate regulations

(population of 2250 or more and in 4500 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Culmore (part of Derry city limits)
  • Dungiven
  • Eglinton
  • Maghera
  • New building (part of the Derry Urban Area)


(population of 1,000 or more and for 2250 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Ballykelly
  • Bellaghy
  • Castle
  • Castle
  • claudy
  • Drapers
  • Garvagh
  • Grey Steel
  • Kilrea
  • Moneymore
  • Strathfoyle (part of Derry city limits)

Small villages and hamlets

(population of less than 1,000 at the 2001 census) [28]

  • Articlave
  • Ballerin
  • Ballymaguigan
  • Ballyronan
  • Clady
  • Culnady
  • Desert Martin
  • Perform
  • Drumsurn
  • Feeny
  • Glenullin
  • Gulla Duff
  • Lettershendoney
  • Macosquin
  • Ringsend
  • Swatragh
  • Tobermore
  • Upperlands


In 1973, the counties ceased to be a unit of administration in Northern Ireland, replaced by district. These suggestions were: Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council, Magherafelt and, most of Coleraine Borough Council, and some of Cookstown. After reducing the number of municipalities in Northern Ireland in 2011, County Londonderry divided into three cross county: Causeway Coast and Glens, Derry and Strabane, and Mid-Ulster District.


TransLink offers a Northern Ireland Railways service in the county, connecting Londonderry Waterfall Railway Station to Coleraine railway station (with a branch of Portrush in Coleraine-Portrush railway) onwards in County Antrim to Belfast Central Belfast Great Victoria Street in Belfast -Derry railway.

There is also the Foyle Valley Railway, a museum in Derry with some rolling stock from both the County Donegal Railway and Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, and is located on the site of the former Londonderry Foyle Road Railway Station. The Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway continued as a private bus companies based in the city but works primarily County Donegal, until it closed in 2014. Bus services now provided by Ulsterbus.


State-funded education up to secondary school level is administered by

  • Western Education and Library Board: Derry, Limavady
  • North Eastern Education and Library Board: Coleraine, Magherafelt
  • Southern Education and Library Board: Cookstown

For Catholic grant-maintained schools, the administration of Derry diocese education department.

Two major centers of the University of Ulster are in the county, including its headquarters in Coleraine and Magee campus in Derry.


In Gaelic games, the GAA county of Derry is more or less coincides with the former administrative county of Londonderry, also teams from neighboring counties Tyrone, Donegal and Antrim has sometimes played in Derry competitions, and vice versa. The Derry team wear the colors red and white.There are many teams competing in up to five leagues and three championship. The County team has won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (in 1993) and five National League titles. Hurling is also widely played but is not as popular as football. [ Citation needed ] However, the county is now generally regarded as one of the best hurling sides in Ulster [citation needed ] and in 2006 won the Nicky Rackard Cup – the third level throw competition Ireland.

In conjunction football, NIFL Premiership has that serves as the top division, two teams in the county: Coleraine FC and Institute FC, with Limavady United FC, Moyola Park FC, Port FC ochTobermore United FC compete in NIFL Championship, which serves as the levels two and three . Derry City FC play in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland after leaving Northern Ireland structures in 1985, after having resigned from the Irish Football League at the height of the troubles due not allowed to play their home games at Brandy because of safety concerns from other clubs .

The Northern Ireland Milk Cup was founded in 1983 and is considered one of the most prestigious youth soccer tournaments in Europe and the world. [29] [30] [31] [32] The competition is based on Coleraine and involves several other towns and villages in the county – Limavady, Port and Castle – and in neighboring County Antrim – Ballycastle, Portrush, Ballymena and Broughshane. The event, held in the last week of July, has attracted teams from 56 countries around the world, including Europe, USA, Africa, Far East, South America, Middle East, Australia, Russia, New Zealand and Canada.Some of the biggest teams in the world has written, among other things, the Premier League giants Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur as well as top European teams, Feyenoord, FC Porto, FC Barcelona, Benfica, Bayern Munich and Dynamo Kiev.

In rugby union, the county is represented at a high level of Rainey Old Boys Rugby Club, Magherafelt who compete in the Ulster Senior League and the All Ireland Division Three. Limavady RFC, City of Derry Rugby Club, YMCA Londonderry and Coleraine Rugby Club competes in Ulster Qualifying League One.

Cricket is very popular in the North West of Ireland, with 11 of the 20 leading clubs in the North West Cricket Union is located in County Londonderry: Limavady, Eglinton, Glendermott, Brigade, Killymallaght, Ardmore, Coleraine, bonds Glen Drummond, Creevedonnell and The Nedd.

In rowing, Richard Archibald from Coleraine along with their Irish teammates qualified for the Beijing Olympics 2008, second in the lightweight four final in Poznan, which is eligible for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Another Coleraine rower Alan Campbell is a World Cup gold medalist in the single sculls in 2006 .


The county currently has four main radio stations:

  • BBC Radio Foyle
  • Q102.9
  • Q97.2
  • Six FM (in the southern part of the county)

See also

  • Abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland (Derry)
  • List of places in County Londonderry
  • List of townlands in County Londonderry
  • List of civil parishes in County Londonderry
  • Lord Lieutenant of County Londonderry
  • High Sheriff of County Londonderry


  1. Jump up ^ Key Statistics Tables 2001 census combined Coleraine, Derry, Limavady and Magherafelt.
  2. Jump up ^ “Northern Ireland” (PDF). The Ministry of Defence (UK).Hämtad28 October of 2010.
  3. Jump up ^ Banagher and Boveagh churches Environment Ministry.
  4. ^ Jump up to: ab 2001 Census Statistics
  5. Jump up ^ County flowers in Britain
  6. Jump up ^ Delanoy, Werner; et al. (2007). Towards Dialogic Anglistics.LIT Verlag.s. 38. ISBN 978-3-8258-0549-4.
  7. Jump up ^ Dictionary of Irish Terms – Foclóir Téarmaíochta. July 23, 2013.
  8. Jump up ^ Blackie, Christina (2010). Geographical Etymology. Marton Press. p. 61.ISBN 978-1-4455-8286-3.
  9. Jump up ^ Centre for European Policy Studies, accessed October 6, 2007
  10. Jump up ^ “The walled city of Experience”. Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 4 September of 2008.
  11. Jump up ^ BBC News: Court to pronounce on the city name 7 April 2006
  12. Jump up ^ place names range lands in the High Court, BBC News
  13. Jump up ^ Derry City Council: Re application for judicial review [2007] NIHC 5 (QB)
  14. Jump up ^ AEP Collins (1983), “Excavations at Mount Sandel, Lower Site”, Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol. 46 pp1-22. JSTOR preview.
  15. Jump up ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2011. Celtic Sea . Encyclopedia of Earth.Eds.P. Saundry & CJ Cleveland. National Council for Science and miljö.Washington DC
  16. ^ Jump up to: abc Notes on the place names of the parishes and townlands of County Londonderry , in 1925, Alfred Moore Munn, racing crown and peace in the City and County of Londonderry
  17. Jump up ^ a new history of Ireland, pp 111-112
  18. Jump up ^ Curl, James Stevens (2001). “The City of London and the Plantation of Ulster”. BBCi History line. Retrieved ten August of 2008.
  19. Jump up ^ Robinson, Philip (2000). The plantation of Ulster. Ulster Historical Foundation. ISBN 978-1-903688-00-7.
  20. Jump up ^ Walter Harris. “Hibernica: Some antient or places for Ireland” .Hämtad 30 June 2016.
  21. Jump up ^ place names NI – Moneymore
  22. Jump up ^ For the 1653 and 1659 figures from the Civil Survey Census of those years, the paper Mr. Hardinge Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  23. Jump up ^ Census of post 1821 figures.
  24. Jump up ^
  25. Jump up ^ NISRA – Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) in 2013. (27 September 2010). Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  26. Jump up ^ Lee, JJ (1981). “On the accuracy of pre-famine Irish censuses”. In the Gold Strom, JM; Clarkson, LA Irish population, economy and society: Essays in Honour of the late KH Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  27. Jump up ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Smooth, Cormac (November 1984). “New Developments in the Irish population history, 1700-1850”. The Economic History Review. 37 (4) :. 473-488 doi: 10.1111 / j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.
  28. ^ Jump up to: abcdef “Statistical Classification of settlements”. NI Neighbourhood Information Service. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  29. Jump up ^
  30. Jump up ^ NI Milk Cup Official Site
  31. Jump up ^ Manchester United’s official website
  32. Jump up ^ University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)