Museum opening hours: May - Sept 11am to 4pm | Sunday Service is at 11:30am

Magazine Street Upper, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT48 6PH

(entry via First Derry Presbyterian Church)



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