/lun"deuhn der'ee/, n.
1. a county in N Northern Ireland. 130,889; 804 sq. mi. (2082 sq. km).
2. its county seat: a seaport. 54,000.
3. a town in SE New Hampshire. 13,598. Also called Derry (for defs. 1, 2).

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locally and historically Derry

District (pop., 2001: 105,066), northwestern Northern Ireland.

It is also the name of a former traditional county, colonized by the English in 1609; the 1973 administrative reorganization broke up the county into several districts, including Londonderry. Bordered by the Irish republic and Lough Foyle, it is centred around the seaport city of Londonderry. In 1969 the old city and the adjacent area were merged administratively, and in 1973 it became one of Northern Ireland's 26 districts.
locally and historically Derry

Seaport (pop., 1995 est.: 77,000) and district seat of Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

St. Columba established a monastery there in the 6th century, but the settlement was repeatedly destroyed by Norse invaders. In 1600 an English force seized the city; shortly thereafter James I of England granted the city to the citizens of London, who brought in Protestant settlers, and it was then that it became officially known as Londonderry. Growth of the modern city dates from the 1850s, when linen shirt making became important, and clothing manufacture remains a major industry. Home to two cathedrals, Anglican and Roman Catholic, it has been the site of terrorist violence. Steeped in the region's political turmoil, controversy surrounds the city's name. The British government officially refers to the city and district as Londonderry City, but since 1984 the nationalist-controlled city council has called itself the Derry City Council.

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▪ city and district, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
locally and historically  Derry  and  Irish  Doire 

      city and the larger district that encompasses it, formerly in the even larger County Londonderry, northwestern Northern Ireland. The old city and adjacent urban and rural areas were administratively merged in 1969 and later became one of Northern Ireland's 26 districts during the United Kingdom's local government reorganization in 1973. Steeped in the region's political turmoil, controversy surrounds the city's name. The British government officially refers to the city and district as Londonderry City, and since 1984 the nationalist-controlled city council has called itself the Derry City Council. Nationalists generally use the local popular name Derry, as do many unionists, though the latter are more likely to use Londonderry in political discussion. The name Derry comes from the Irish word doire, meaning “oak grove.”

      Centred on a hill on the west bank of the River Foyle, the old city is partially contained by well-preserved city walls (completed in 1618) 1.2 miles (2 km) in circumference. It is about 4 miles (6 km) upstream from where the Foyle widens into the broad Atlantic inlet of Lough Foyle (Foyle, Lough). St. Columba established a monastery on the site in the mid-6th century, but the settlement was destroyed by Norse invaders, who reportedly burned it down seven times before 1200. Later the town served as a strategic point in the Tudor wars against the native Irish. In 1600 an English force seized Derry, demolishing Irish churches and the monastery. Shortly thereafter (in 1613) James I of England granted Derry to the citizens of London who laid out the new city, built stout walls, and brought in Protestant (both English and Scottish) settlers. The place was thereafter officially known as Londonderry. The new city was unsuccessfully besieged several times in the 17th century, particularly by the forces of James II in 1688–89. St. Columba's (Anglican) Cathedral, originally built in 1633, contains many relics of the siege of 1688–89.

      Growth of the modern city dates from the 1850s, when linen shirt making became important. Clothing manufacture (now utilizing both natural and synthetic fibres) continues to be a significant industry; other local factories process foods and manufacture chemicals and other light industrial products. Londonderry served as a naval base during World Wars I and II; its contemporary port facilities, however, are of minor importance. A civil rights campaign seeking equal rights for Roman Catholics was inaugurated in Northern Ireland in 1968, and in 1969 street violence occurred in Londonderry. Intermittent disturbances into the 1980s were characterized by the use of firearms and bombs.

      The district includes rolling lowlands and valleys that gradually rise to the wooded slopes of the Sperrin Mountains in the southeast. It is bordered by the districts of Limavady to the east and Strabane to the south, the Irish republic to the west, and Lough Foyle to the north. Salmon are commercially fished in the tidal portions of the River Foyle; and sheep, barley, and poultry are raised by farmers in the district. A comprehensive modernization program has resulted in extensive redevelopment within the old city; several industrial estates have also been established at the mouth of the River Foyle, along with new outlying residential areas and a second bridge across the Foyle. Area district, 148 square miles (380 square km). Pop. (2004 est.) district, 106,889.

▪ former county, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
      former (until 1973) county, Northern Ireland. It was bounded by the Atlantic Ocean (north), the River Bann (east), former County Tyrone (south), and the River Foyle (west). It had an area of 801 square miles (2,075 square km), roughly triangular in shape. The former county's principal physical features are the glacially eroded Sperrin Mountains formed by ancient mica schists and rising to more than 2,000 feet (600 metres). To the north, extensive plateaus of basaltic lava, covered with peat bog, overlie chalk and igneous formations. The lava escarpments are flanked by drift-covered hills and river valleys with wide deltaic terraces. To the south and east sandstones cap older rocks and meet igneous rock and intrusive granite of north Tyrone at Slieve Gallion (1,737 feet). The climate is temperate with an annual rainfall of 40–50 inches (1,000–1,250 mm).

      There is evidence of prehistoric settlement in the Mesolithic site at Toome Bay on Lough (lake) Neagh and in the massive Neolithic burial chambers scattered over the Londonderry area. Raths (circular earthworks) are also numerous. The area was relatively unaffected by Viking and Norman invaders and until the 17th century had little contact with England. The shiring of Ulster was undertaken in 1585, when the area was described as the County of Coleraine. Following the defeat of the Irish earls and the confiscation of their lands in 1609, English colonization was undertaken by livery companies of the City of London and the Honourable Irish Society (founded 1610). A charter of 1613 established the county of Londonderry, which comprised the old county, O'Neill lands of Loughinsholin, and small parts of Donegal and Antrim. New towns were established and populated with Scots and English planters. Many of the original buildings of the settlement towns were destroyed in the 1641 rebellions and in the wars of the late 17th century. The early 18th century saw the mass migration of dissenting Presbyterians to New England. During World War II, Lough (inlet of the sea) Foyle assumed strategic importance as a naval base. In the 1973 administrative reorganization of Northern Ireland, the county was divided into the districts of Limavady, Londonderry, and Magherafelt, and portions of Coleraine and Cookstown districts.

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Universalium. 2010.

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