The Apprentice Boys Memorial aka "The Heroes Mound", Derry City, Co. Derry

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Where: Northern Ireland, Londonderry, United Kingdom

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When: Unknown

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Today we move from the far south of Waterford to the far north of Derry and a memorial to the Apprentice Boys there. A surprisingly modest memorial to such an historically important group.

This shot from Derry/Londonderry didn't arouse a lot of interest today, but it appears that the memorial is not so much to the Apprentice Boys themselves as it is to the unknown people interred in a mass grave near St. Columbs Cathedral following the siege. Swordscookie found an account of where the bones of those interred were being taken to be dumped into land reclamation at the river and local people objected. The remains were then taken back to the cathedral and interred in the "Heroes Mound" The correct title for this image might rightly be "The Heroes Mound Memorial"?

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: between ca. 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_02877

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 16983
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland derrylondonderry apprenticeboys memorial siegeheroesmound siegeofderry derry lawrencephotographcollection

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    • 21/Jul/2016 08:23:05

    Next to the St Columb's Cathedral: Photo Sphere - Mai 2016:

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    • 21/Jul/2016 08:42:53

    Also known as 'Heroes Mound'. An article in the Londonderry Sentinel, 20 January 2011 suggests that the mound was erected in 1890 with the bones of a mass grave, originating from the siege of 1688/89.

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    • 21/Jul/2016 10:06:30

    More details here, talking about the Siege Heroes' Mound being an 1860s temporary resting place for the remains ... via

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    • 21/Jul/2016 18:57:36

    I thought that this would be a winner when I first saw it but I had painting to do and only got back to it now! In the I found the following:- "A mass grave exists in Society Street and the Free School area and extends out to St Columb's Cathedral, and there may be evidence for that because when they were excavating Bishop Street for the new buildings that were built, the Nicholson family led a party to collect as many bones as they could and these bones were re-interred at the east window of St Columb's Cathedral." He went on to say that when Dean Smiley was building the Chancel at the Cathedral in the 1890s the site containing the bones was excavated, and the bones and spoil around them were placed into three carts. He said the intention at the time was that the contents of the carts were to be taken down to the Water Bastion where works were ongoing to try and straighten the bend in the river, but there was an outcry from the people of the Fountain. "The soil and the bones from the Cathedral were taken to 'the strands' along the Foyle River and were taken down to the bays, and they were going to use them to fill in the river. "The people of the Fountain stopped the carts and made them go back to the graveyard. and they took them to what is now the 'Heroes Mound'. That mound is managed by the Apprentice Boys Association and if you look at the obelisk on it you will see two Coats of Arms. One is the City Coat of Arms and the other is the Nicholson Family Coat of Arms, and the family's Coat of Arms was put on the obelisk in recognition of their efforts to re-inter the bones."

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    • 22/Jul/2016 00:47:16

    what happened there? Google doesn't have much on the event.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Jul/2016 07:19:46

    Hi Brian, It would appear that following the "Siege of Derry" in 1688 - 1689 many of those that died were buried in a mass grave. When some alterations were being carried out at St. Columbs Cathedral their bones were excavated and eventually reinterred under the "Heroes Mound"! See Swordscookies post above for further information?

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    • 23/Jul/2016 00:47:54 thanks for the info. I do like to learn about history

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    • 23/Jul/2016 00:53:58

    oh that's with the Cannonball Font that was on here a long time ago!

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    Mark Lusby

    • 11/Nov/2020 23:40:04

    When the Siege Heroes Mound was being restored a few years ago, the archaeological investigation found no evidence of bones or a time capsule.