Heritage After Dark
30 young people took part in a heritage research project over the past 18 months and produced their own DVD and pamphlet. The research focused on the history of Halloween, local ghost legends, nocturnal wildlife including owls, bats and moths and Halloween traditions. You can download the pamphlet at the bottom of this page 'CCP Halloween bk'
Step Back in Time Heritage Project
In January 2007 the Heritage Lottery Fund provided funding for the Step Back in Time project at Creggan Country Park. The project explored the heritage legacy of the Creggan Country Park site through extensive community research and an educational project on the history of its development. The project established a record of the cultural, historical, natural and industrial heritage significance of the site and related this to its diverse heritage. ***We have just launched a collection of pamphlets on the history of Creggan which were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Step Back in Time project. you can download them for free at the bottom of this page!***
Creggan Country Park’s Heritage Significance
The 100acre site which is now in ownership of Creggan Country Park Enterprises Limited has had seminal influence on the history of Derry, for example, having previously been used as a deer park by the redoubtable Earl Bishop Frederick Hervey.
The three reservoirs visible in the aerial photograph below are thought to be built in the mid 1800’s under an Unemployment Relief Scheme most likely for the famine period (1848-1849). This thought is supported by the ordnance survey map where in 1832 the Park was recorded as a Deer Park and by 1904/5 the ‘Creggan Reservoirs’ were illustrated.
Aerial Photograph of the Creggan Country Park site in 2006
The land designated species rich wet grassland by Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as unimproved farmland has been set aside to allow natural regeneration where plant succession is now evident with wildflower, native plants and biodiversity taking root. The conservation lake is home to a family of otters, various types of birds including coots, mallards, herons and buzzards.
The land has changed ownership many times. From the Gaelic McGroarty’s ‘erenaghs’ and parish stewarts (who reputedly kept St Colmcilles ‘Cathach’) to change brought about by the plantation and subsequent association with Earl Bishop Hervey. Creggan Country Park is situated just off the ‘Creggan Rath’ locally known as the ‘cropie’ which historians suggest date from the Bronze Age. There is no agreed definition of the word ‘cropie’ but the word possibly originated from the French word ‘Croupe’ which means the rounded top of a hill. Cartographical evidence suggests the Cropie played a significant role in the siege of Derry (1688-1689) when the area was occupied with French Troops whom were allies of King James II. The company of French Dragoons took advantage of its elevated view of the city below to mortar the defenders of the city. It is possible the French Troops named the Cropie. Some other local sources refer to is as the ‘crobie clamp’ referring to the rookery of beech trees. The ‘crobie’ is the Scots/Irish corruption of French ‘Corbeau’ meaning raven or crow (e.g. the poem “Twa Corbies”). Photographic evidence illustrates beech tree planting in circular groups around the perimeters of the Cropie which historians have indicated Bishop Hervey practiced during 18th Century to emphasise the grandeur of its estates. Place names of the area have been influenced by the site for example Demesne Avenue and Oakfield Park.
***We have just launched our new collection of pamphlets on the history of Creggan, you can download them for free below.***