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‘Newly unearthed’ 17th century items to be displayed at Siege Museum

07 August 2018

A number of items from the latter half of the 17th century never seen before by the public are to go on display at the Siege Museum in Derry. The objects include a 17th century officer’s sword, a pike, cannon balls and artworks from the Relief of Derry and James II receiving the news of the landing of William Prince of Orange which were unearthed by Billy Moore, Chairman of the Siege Museum Management Committee, on a recent visit to the museum collections store of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

 

Curator with Council's Museum and Visitor Service, Roisin Doherty, says that Council have been very keen to make their collections more accessible to the public and she was therefore delighted when Billy got in touch.

 

“The items to be loaned to the Siege Museum were chosen by Billy after he contacted the museum and visited our collections store” she said.

 

“Council’s Museum Service advises the Siege Museum on curatorial and other matters relating to interpretation. It is therefore great that these important historical artefacts will help support the story of the Apprentice Boys by supplementing the existing gallery displays.

 

“I am also delighted that as a result of Billy’s visit that we have been able to develop the relationship Council has in supporting the Siege Museum in promoting the story of the city.

 

“The Siege Museum is a wonderful facility and a key addition to our heritage and tourism portfolio.  Through its extensive range of artefacts and interactive displays it is a fascinating place to learn about key dimensions of the history and culture of our city.

 

“I therefore hope that these items will add to the excellent visitor experience at the museum, and provide a fuller appreciation of our rich and varied past.

 

“Indeed, in an age where everything is digitised or available online, I think it is vitally important that we keep real items of history and that people can come and view documents that are still readable or see items on display in their local museums.”

 

Billy Moore says that the items are an excellent addition in terms of showcasing the history of the Siege and the culture and traditions of the Apprentice Boys.

 

“I was delighted to be offered the opportunity by Roisin to visit the Council’s museum collections store and to see if there were any artefacts relating to the Siege” he said.

 

“We unearthed a 17th century officer’s sword, a pike, two cannon balls and two artworks – a print of the Relief of Derry and one of James II receiving the news of the landing of William Prince of Orange.

 

“Importantly, these historical artefacts will significantly enhance the quality of our displays.

 

“I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome individuals and groups from all communities to the Siege Museum, where they can view and better understand our rich history.

 

“We also look forward to continuing to work with Council in terms of preserving our unique heritage and making the museum collections more accessible to the public.

Indeed, we also have an important role to play together in encouraging more people to the city and to our museums – both day-trippers and those staying overnight – which will lead to increased visitor spend and a sustainable tourism economy.”