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Will you help us maintain our B1 listed Buildings?

Artillery Street is the site of one of Derry-Londonderry’s first theatres, Talbot’s Theatre which was built in 1774 on the corner of Artillery Street and London Street (formally Widow’s Row). The Old Convent in Pump Street which is linked by a courtyard to The Playhouse on Artillery Street, was originally built as the Kings Arms Hotel in 1780 for the Grand Jury. In 1840 the Kings Arms was put up for sale and was purchased by a Thomas Doherty of Muff for £1,210 acting on behalf of the Catholic Bishop Dr Mc Laughlin, since at that time Catholics were not allowed to purchase property within the walls of the city.

St. Columb’s College and Thornhill College were both founded in the combined site of Pump Street and Artillery Street. The first convent in Northern Ireland since the Reformation was founded on this site, when the Sisters of Mercy moved into Pump Street in 1848. The nuns set up a primary school in Pump Street in 1848, St Peters, and in 1887 due to expanding numbers the upper school in Artillery Street (St Mary’s) was built. It was originally built as a school.

In 1986 an application was made to demolish the two schools on Artillery Street at a cost of £100,000. This was refused by the Dept. of Environment. The two buildings are now “B1” Listed, two of only seven in the city centre. St. Joseph’s building appeared in the 6th edition of Buildings at Risk by the Ulster Architect Heritage Society in association with “Environment & Heritage Service”. In the early 1990’s, the buildings were saved by Pauline Ross. 

In 2004 The Playhouse won the Northern Irish heat of the national television competition, BBC Restoration, and in August 2004, Blonski Architects presented the plans for the £4.6 million refurbishment of the two B1 Listed schools and new-build in the lower courtyard. Since then The Playhouse have raised £4.5 million of the £4.6 million needed to refurbish its buildings.

The Playhouse buildings are now home to one of Ireland’s best known art centres incorporating an Award Winning 146 seater theatre (one of only a handful of commissioning and producing theatre’s in Ireland), gallery space, dance studio, engagement department and also home to several cultural and art based tenants including resident theatre companies, artists, dance companies, and nine theatre groups/companies to name but a few

Your support will make sure we can matain these beautiful buildings for future generations.

I’d like to help with: £