22 May 2022

How much do you know about Derry? (Part 1)

Test yourself in our big quiz on all aspects of life and history in the city

Peace Bridge Derry

How much do you know about Derry?


1. Why was the Derry Journal of 3 June 1940 banned by the Minister of Home Affairs, Sir Dawson Bates?
2. What is the oldest piece of sculpture in Derry and where can it be found?
3. Where in Derry would you find lava from Mount Vesuvius?
4. Where in 1852 would it have cost you from 5 shillings to 42 shillings to have an ‘eternal’ rest?
5. Where did Fleetwood Mac and Thin Lizzy play in Derry in the 1960s?
6. Derry’s Walls are constructed mainly of what type of stone?
7. In 1842 the largest ship in the world (at that time) was built in Derry. Who built it and what was it called?
8. Where was the Neptune Bar?
9. What bar in Derry shares the same name as a famous English cricket ground?

10. In what year was the Foyle frozen over and an ox roasted on the ice opposite Shipquay Gate?
11. Where in the city could you have studied Drawing, Geometry, Architectural Drawing and Building Construction in the 19th Century.
12. Where did the Sisters of Nazareth originally come from before they arrived in Derry and when did they come?
13. Where was Miss Watson’s Boarding and Day School?
14. His family fled to the USA during the revolution in France but the name of this French American is well known in Derry today, who is he?
15. What was the ‘Runaway Rabble’?
16. Name the island in Lough Enagh where significant archaeological finds have been discovered?
17. To what period do the artefacts belong?
18. What ancient stone stands in the grounds of Belmount House School and what was it used for?
19. Name the Derry Labour Party paper in 1969-1970.
20. What is the connection between the magician Paul Daniels and the Waterside?


1. Name the Irish novelist who was the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union organiser in Derry in 1918.
2. Which former Derry factory is mentioned in volume one of ‘Das Kapital’, by Karl Marx, as an example of large-scale production?
3. Which book by Leon Uris was set in Derry and Donegal?
4. She was born in Derry on March 28, 1944, and worked as a journalist for The Irish Times from 1970, who is she?
5. Which Derryman was nominated for the 1987 Turner Prize for excellence in the field of artistic endeavour?
6. Name two literary works by former Derry Mayor, Doctor Raymond McClean.

7. Who was known as the ‘Jail Journalist’ and where was he born?
8. (a) Name three children’s hymns written by Fanny Humphreys from Strabane. (b) What honour was bestowed on her husband, William Alexander?
9. Name the Saint who wrote Colmcille’s biography.
10. a) Which male poet, associated with Derry, used the name ‘Incertus’ when writing in Q and Gorgon magazines while studying at Queen’s University? (b) Where and when was he born?
(c) What age was he when his first major book was published?

1. What was the upper part of Strabane Old Road known as locally?
2. Which road and avenue in Derry are named after the English General, John Churchill?
3. What street and bar in Derry have the same name as the Chancellor to Charles II?
4. Name the housing estate in Derry that could be associated with Shakespeare?
5. Which Derry housing estate name, when translated from Gaelic, means ‘mouth of fish’?
6. What Derry housing estate has its streets named after birds?
7. What was Eglinton’s original name?
8. The Bishop Street well was re-opened in 1911 during a water shortage. Where was the pump situated?
9. What street in Derry was known as Soap House Lane and why?
10. What street used to run opposite Castle Street?


1. Who developed ‘Clever Cut’, what is it and on what TV programme was it first featured?
2. Why was April 12, 1988, an important date in the Derry business calendar?
3. Where was the XL Café situated?
4. What was the name of the public house which was situated where Sumra House is now?
5. What was the name of the distillery which used to be at the bottom of Simpson’s Brae?

6. Where was the first Gas Works?
7. Where was the first Electricity Generating Station?
8. Along which streets did the City of Derry Tramway run?
9. When did Northern Ireland Railways take over from the Ulster Transport Authority?
10. What was constructed during the years 1845-1846 that attracted many steamer loads of spectators and eventually ended up with a banquet taking place inside a tunnel?


1. ‘The pro-German nature of news headings and articles.’
2. The Stone Knight (about 500 years old) which is thought to have come from the tomb of Cuadh na nGall – O’Cathain Chieftan. It is inside Belmount House School.
3. Along the top of Lumen Christi’s Wall (formerly St. Columb’s College). Bishop Hervey had brought it to Derry to use on the walls if his house at Bishop Street.
4. The newly opened City Cemetery in Creggan.
5. The Embassy Ballroom.
6. Schist.
7. Captain William Coppin – The Great Northern.
8. Fox’s Lane, Strand Road.
9. The Oval Bar.
10. 1740.
11. At Londonderry Government School of Art, Shipquay Street. Established in 1875.
12. Hammersmith, 1892, at the Bishop’s invitation.
13. 22 Pump Street.
14. Elouthee Irenee Du Pont de Nemours, industrialist and chemist.
15. The second Hiring Fair, held in May and November in the week following the regular Hiring Fair. I helped those dissatisfied with their earlier job and who had run away for some reason or other.
16. Rough Island.
17. Neolithic, bronze and iron age.
18. St Patrick’s Stone. It is believed to be an inauguration stone for kings or chieftans.
19. Ramparts.
20. He married Debbie Magee whose father was born in Bond Street.

1. Paedar O’Donnell.
2. Tillie and Henderson’s at the bottom of Abercron Road.
3. Trinity.
4. Nell McCafferty.
5. Declan McGonagle for work in the Orchard Gallery.
6. The Road to Bloody Sunday and A Cross Shared.
7. John Mitchel – born in 1815 at Camnish, near Dungiven.
8. (a) ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ and ‘The Golden Gates Are Lifted Up’. (b) He became Bishop of Derry in 1896.
9. St Adamnan whose name is given to one of the concealed wells in St Columb’s Wells.
10. . (a) Seamus Heaney. (b) Mossbawn, Tamniarn, Co Derry, in 1939. (c) The Death Of A Naturalist was published in 1966 when he was 27.

1. Dunn’s Row.
2. Marlborough Road and Avenue. Churchill was the first Duke of Marlborough.
3. Clarendon/Street/Bar.
4. Bard’s Hill (Gobnascale).
5. Gobnascale.
6. Clooney.
7. Muff.
8. At the side of the footpath opposite M & M Scotts.
9. Orchard Street, where the Hughes family established a soap making industry.
10. Richmond Street.

1. Northland Computer Services (established with LEDU assistance during 1983). It is a hand-sized portable electronic device that saves waste in the cutting of timber, metal or plastic. It was featured on Tomorrow’s World.
2. Some of the banks introduced lunchtime opening.
3. Sackville Street.
4. McCool’s.
5. Watts.
6. Foyle Street.
7. Strand Road, in the 1890s.
8. John Street, Foyle Street, Shipquay Place, Waterloo Place and Strand Road. It linked the GNR terminus with the Lough Swilly terminus.
9. April 1968.
10. The Derry-Coleraine railway line for which the tunnels between Downhill and Castlerock were blasted.

  CLICK LINK: How much do you know about Derry? (Part 2)  

Most of the quiz questions were taken from the Derry Quiz Book 2 which was published by Guildhall Press in 1988. It was compiled with the help of the following: The Guildhall Press staff, Gerry Lynch, Dermot Logue, Declan Carlin, George Proctor and A W Hileman.

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