Derry Drawing 2

Our History

Derry Drawing 8

Our History

Before there was a hotel, there was a barracks.  And before that… 

Earliest records

As the establishment of a monastery by Saint Colmcille in Derry did not take place until the year 545, it is very likely that this area was still undeveloped land at that time. What’s more, as it was later named ‘Stronge’s Orchard’ we can assume that it was first populated with fruit trees rather than the surrounding forests of oak trees that later gave the City its original name (‘Doire’, meaning ‘oak grove’). 

Great Siege

The site was still an orchard when the forces of King James II of England placed cannons there for the bombardment of the walled city across the River Foyle (opposite the Ebrington Hotel). Its inhabitants, loyal to King William of Orange, held out undefeated for 105 days in conditions of terror and hunger during the Great Siege of Derry in 1689. 

Military Barracks

In 1816 a decision was made to move the city’s barracks from Foyle Street within the walled city to Waterside – the other bank of the river, where the hotel stands today.  

This was such a controversial decision at the time that building work did not commence on the 10-acre site until 1841.  A ‘Star Fort’ – a standard design of the day – was built and the site was further developed and extended as the fort and barracks was used over the next 200 years.   

World War II

Perhaps the site’s finest hour came during World War II.  The city’s port and the barracks were a hive of constant activity for American, Canadian and British forces as the centre of operations for the North Atlantic convoy escort missions. These saved many lives and kept supply lines to Britain open during the darkest days of the war. 

After the war it remained in operation for years as HMS Sea Eagle, an anti-submarine training headquarters before reverting to its previous role as a British Army base in 1970. 

New Era

In 2003 a new era began for this site when it was vacated by the Army. The site was finally opened as a public space in 2011 with the peace bridge opening in June that same year, instantly becoming an iconic symbol of Derry’s post -Troubles evolution. 

In 2022 after many years of land reclamation, building conservation and restoration works, the go-ahead was given to transform the barracks into a 4-Star Hotel and work started onsite.  

The exterior has been carefully preserved, with the iconic clock tower, & captains house maintaining their original appearance.  The former soldiers’ dormitories and dining quarters have been transformed into 33 luxurious bedrooms with banqueting and leisure facilities that its former inhabitants could only have dreamed of.  

In June 2023, after a build time of 18 months , The Ebrington Hotel opened its doors to become the Northwest’s Newest hotel which is set to write its own place in history. 

Welcome to the New hotel with a History’.