Outreach & Community

Siege Event at Prehen House

Shots were fired and knives were drawn on the lawn Prehen House on Monday.

No one was injured however, as it was part of an historical re-enactment event focusing on the Great Siege of 1688-89.

Event organiser Eilis Haden said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to people the ways in which the 105-day siege in which 10,000 Williamites died was played out both here at Prehen and further afield. Often when we think of the siege we just focus on what happened at or within the walls but there were battles in Galliagh, Windmill Hill, here Lumen Christi is now, the Creggan and there were Jacobite camps here at Prehen and in Rosemount. In fact St Columba once prophecised that ‘the Irish will be utterly destroyed in a great fight’ at Pennyburn and poems have since been written which claim that it was this, as well as their strong faith, that gave the Williamite victors their confidence.”

One of the highlights was the re-enactment of the use of weaponary and costume from that period, staged by the group, Oireas, noted for their attention to detail and entertaining an audience with anecdotes while giving demonstrations.

Cormac McSparron, from Queens Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, gave a tour of last year’s dig at Prehen, in which a 17th Century fortification was uncovered, and there was a tour of Prehen House

The event was funded by Heritage Lottery and was part of a wider Apprentice Boys initiative to build momentum for the opening of the Siege Museum next year.