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Irish: Cúil Mór
County Londonderry
Location: 55°2’56"N, 7°17’28"W
Population: 2,960
Post town: Londonderry
Postcode: BT48
Dialling code: 028
Local Government

Culmore is a townland in western County Londonderry, that forms a suburb of the city of Londonderry. It is at the mouth of the River Foyle. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 2,960 people. Its name is from the Irish ‘’Cúil Mór’’, meaning “|the great corner”.[1]


Nine Years' War

Sir Henry Docwra, 1st Baron Docwra of Culmore, was an English soldier who landed with a force of 4,000 foot and 200 horse troops at Culmore on 16 May 1600, as part of an attempt to quell a war against the crown in Ulster. On 22 May he marched into Derry without resistance and occupied and fortified the town. From here he harassed some local Irish in such as a way as to make them sue for peace with him. Facing stronger local Irish opposition, Docwra's troops became almost prisoners, unable to make any progress while slowly starving until some powerful Irish became allies. For his service Docwra was granted 2,000 acres in the Precinct of Liffer. He served as Governor of Loughfoyle, and on 15 May 1621, by a patent dated at Westminster, was created Baron Docwra of Culmore. He was also Treasurer at War and a member of the Privy Council. Sir Henry died on 18 April 1631.

O'Doherty's Rebellion

Culmore Fort was an important strategic position linked to the garrison town of Derry. In 1608 when Sir Cahir O'Doherty, a formerly loyal Gaelic leader, launched ‘’O'Doherty's Rebellion’’ by seizing and burning Derry, he began by first capturing a supply of arms from the arsenal at Culmore after capturing its commander Captain Henry Hart.

Recent history

Amelia Earhart landed in a pasture at Culmore after her 1932 transatlantic solo flight. A small museum, the Amelia Earhart Centre, has been built there.


Culmore railway station opened on 1 October 1853 and closed on 2 July 1973.[2]


References in popular culture

The Hollywood feature film, "L.A. Story", starring Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker is, according to Martin in "Born Standing Up", partly based on an Irish traditional song, The Maid of Culmore. It features a brief clip of the song and dramatizes one of its verses in the storyline:

If I had the power the storms for to rise
I would blow the wind high and I'd darken the skies
I would blow the wind higher and salt seas to roar
For the day that my darling sailed away from Culmore.


Outside links