How we started
In 1999 a number of like minded residents of the village of New Buildings, which is situated two miles to the south of the city of Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, came together under the mentorship of Roy Hamilton, a local historian, to attempt to produce a book on the history of the area.
Our first publication
In December 2002, after more than two years of intensive work, our book entitled "In the Shadow of the Tail of the Fox" was published and put on sale at the launch in the Community Centre. The first run of 500 was sold within one month. A second run has since been produced and copies are still available (see sections entitled OUR BOOK for details and GALLERY for photographic images, many of which are contained in the book).
The Society had it's inaugural meeting in January 2002 with a membership of 15. A Constitution was adopted, office bearers elected and a bank account opened. An annual membership fee of £10 was agreed and is payable after the AGM in January. The fee at present is still £10 per annum.
The membership has now grown to 38. Talks are given by invited speakers at the monthly meetings and there is an annual outing every June to places of historical interest. We have had local field trips and projects had been carried out and more are planned in the future. We have had three exhibitions in the local community centre, presenting our archive text and photograhic records.
How did the village get its name?
You may wonder how the village got it's unusual name. The village is not "new" at all. Indeed it's origins date back to the early sevententh century. In 1617,during the early days of The Plantation of Ulster the area was granted by the Irish Society to the Goldsmiths Company of London for development. A number of dwellings and a fortified bawn were built and was known as the Manor of Goldsmiths Hall. However the village was largely destroyed during the 1641 rebellion.
Sir William Petty's Downe Survey of 1654-56 shows six structures, some of them believed to be original and the village was now known as 'New Buildings'. It is said that the new structures were built by an engineer who was instructed to go and build 'new buildings' 2 miles to the south of the city of Derry. Hence the name stuck.