Derry Area Plan 2011
Appendix 5: Areas of Townscape Character
The area is part of the gradual expansion of the Waterside area in a north and eastwards direction from its core around the Wooden Bridge (now demolished). Bond’s Hill would have been built to provide a less steep alternative to the new railway station (circa 1840) than Simpson’s Brae. Development was rapid after the coming of the train and the area, including Clooney Terrace was largely developed by 1873. The character of the area derives from the concentration of ecclesiastical buildings and other listed buildings and the vernacular quality and details of the terraces. This is particularly so with the east side of Bond’s Hill and west side of Clooney Terrace, and part of the west side of Spencer Road.
Victoria Park is located in the Waterside area of the City along the A5 southern approach to the City overlooking the Craigavon Bridge and the River Foyle. Originally located on the edge of the City it has over the years been partly surrounded by the developing City at Gobnascale to the east and Prehen to the south. It has, however, retained a sense of isolation on the City edge due to a combination of topography and mature landscaping.
The character of the Park derives from a combination of the mature landscape setting, the narrow, winding, steep and enclosed roads and laneways, and the individual buildings. It comprises some 14 properties, a mixture of detached and semi-detached villas, mostly in the late Victorian style though there are elements of the Arts and Craft Movement as well. They are set predominantly in the large private landscaped gardens. All of the older buildings in the Park are gracious and imposing residences, each with their own individual sense of identity whilst overall unified by the strong landscape elements. The Department wishes to maintain the Park as a well established residential area close to the City Centre.
The designated area encompasses the historic area around Culmore Point which includes Culmore Fort and the mainly residential properties along Culmore Point Road. The Fort (re-fortified between 1613 and 1618) guarded the narrows of the Foyle during the 17th century when Londonderry was approached by sea. Most of the original fort was destroyed in 1688 though the tower and associated earthen ramparts and ditch remain, now designated a Scheduled Historic Monument.
The character of the area derives from a combination of the waterside setting and the informal groupings of buildings along a narrow roadway. Gardens tend to be spacious and, in most cases, contain mature landscaping. The quality is enhanced by hedgerows which are an important element in the boundary treatment and groups of buildings such as the cottages to the eastern end of Culmore Point reinforce this character.
The designated area encompasses the historic centre of the village as originally created in 1618-19 and the enlarged village centre following its rebuilding by the Grocers Company between 1820 and 1835. It contains most of the important buildings constructed during this period and is centred on Main Street. The importance of Main Street as the historic focus of the village is reflected in the 7 buildings listed as being of special architectural or historic importance. There are 2 Scheduled Historic Monuments and a number of other buildings of local importance.
Despite the losses over the years there remains a considerable wealth of townscape features and the village displays the essential characteristics of the planned settlement as constructed in the early 19th century. The character of the area derives from the quality of the individual buildings, the generous gardens and plots, the open space, the use of stone in boundary treatments and the mature trees planted as part of the settlement’s historic development which unifies the streetscape. Further trees were added in the early part of the 20th century which included the 3 specimen oaks brought as saplings from Windsor Great Park.
The rapid expansion of the village since 1981 has also seen a growth in additional commercial floorspace along Main Street. The expansion of the village has led to some loss of character and visual amenity along the western end of Main Street. This is due in part to the concentration of parking to the front of buildings, the conflict between vehicular/pedestrian access points to shops and rear car parks, unsympathetic elevational treatment to some buildings and an absence of appropriate hard and soft landscaping. It nevertheless merits inclusion within the Area of Townscape Character in order to reflect the extent of the historic core, to maintain continuity with the core and to improve the quality of development proposals in the area.