Friday 29 November 2013

Gt Parchment Book refresh for Plantation Exhibition

There's to be a refresh of items at the Ulster Plantation Exhibition at Derry Guildhall next week. One of the highlights of the 'changeover' will be a new page from the Great Parchment Book, courtesy of the London Metropolitan Archive (LMA).

The changeover is an opportunity to attract new interest in what has been a very successful exhibition. Since opening at the newly-restored Guildhall in June, the majority of the 210,000 visitors to the flamboyant sandstone building have attended the exhibition, which examines the planning that went into the Plantation and how people were effected by it, as well as its continuing legacy.

Announcing the changeover, Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly said: 'We are extremely pleased to be in a position to receive new archives. This is enabled due to the continued and sustained relationship that the Heritage and Museum Service maintains with the LMA, The Honorable The Irish Society. An important addition, which we are extremely excited about, is a further page of the fascinating Great Parchment book. The manuscript itself is important in the development of the early 17th century and the role of the Irish Society and tells a story about our region to locals and visitors.'

Another addition to the exhibition will be extracts from the ‘The Survey of Londonderry’ by Charles Stewart.

Bernadette Walsh, Archivist with Derry City Council’s Heritage and Museum Service explains: 'The 1814-1815 document details the survey and valuation made by Stewart himself, showing details such as reference number, former and present tenants, use of land, acreage, value, valuation, date of lease and years and lives granted. One of the oldest items in the London Museum Archive collection to go on display, a page from a volume of deeds that details the farming and fishing leases, the page on display relates to a George Squire, in the seventeenth century.

'Early research and sustained relationships with the Irish Society allows us to exhibit a range of their items to add to the exhibition from maps and drawings to correspondence, accounts, legal deeds and minutes of meetings. As well as this a few unseen maps from the Derry City Council archive collection have also been selected by the Archivist to go on display, alongside facsimile copies of the early 17th-century maps of the city.'

To facilitate the secure transfer of these pieces, the Plantation Exhibition will close on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December. It will reopen to the public on Thursday 5 December from 10am.

Details of how the Great Parchment Book has been conserved and digitized can be found at

For further information, contact the Guildhall directly on telephone 028 71 376510 or Email