Museum opening hours: May - Sept 11am - 4pm , Sunday Service - 11.30am

Premises at First Derry Presbyterian Church

Upper Magazine Street, Londonderry,BT48 6PH

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HISTORY WELCOME TO FIRST DERRY BLUE COAT SCHOOL HERITAGE CENTRE

The Blue Coat School
Was Founded in 1773

Initially about 10 or 12 boys who sang in the choir were selected. They were supplied with boots, hats, yellow stockings and a blue coat with a yellow collar. These were clothes in which paupers were dressed so this uniform did not confer any special standing in the community. The school was held in what was known as the Primary Sunday School building at the back of the Church.

  • About 1820

    the building had become too small as the School had been opened to all on the payment of one penny per day. The building was enlarged and became a two storied edifice, the upper storey being reached by an outside staircase. By 1854 the present Upper and Lower lecture halls had been built to accommodate the Girls of First Derry School.

  • In 1894

    both the boys and girls schools transferred as First Derry National School to the site currently occupied by the Verbal Arts Centre on the Mall Wall, near the Royal Bastion.

  • During 2009-2011

    the Blue Coat School building behind the Church was fitted out as an interpretive centre telling the story of Presbyterians in Ireland and the history of First Derry.

Learn more our history

LOCATED WITHIN THE WALLED CITY OF LONDONDERRY

A visit to the Blue Coat School Heritage Centre will help you learn more about ...

- The Plantation
- The architectural history of the Church building and its original funding from Queen Mary
- The Blue Coat School
- Presbyterianism in Derry and the Northwest, including a social history of the congregation.
- First Derry's connection to the wider world including the development of trade!