The siege governors
The Royal Bastion is associated with the city's four governors during the 1689 siege. Professional soldier Robert Lundy was unconvinced that the city could be defended against Jacobite attack. His indecisiveness and refusal to admit additional troops into the overcrowded city led to his overthrow and flight. Major Henry Baker and Rev George Walker replaced him as joint governors. When Baker died of fever, Colonel John Mitchelburne took over his military duties.
Many people regarded Robert Lundy as a traitor. During the centenary celebrations of the shutting of the gates in 1788, a crowd paraded his effigy through the streets and burned it in the market place. This piece of pageantry afforded no small entertainment to innumerable spectators. In 1832 the Apprentice Boys organised the first burning of Lundy on the Walker pillar. The tradition of making a giant effigy of Lundy and setting it alight at dusk on a Saturday in early December continues today.
From 1828 a statue of Governor Walker topped the 24 metre high Walker Memorial Pillar. Sightseers could climb 165 steps within the pillar to a platform to enjoy magnificent views over the city. This proved so popular that railings were erected round the platform for safety. In 1973 an IRA bomb destroyed the pillar. Walker's statue was restored and placed in the garden beside the Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall.
A holy place
At least one High King of Ireland lived in the city. He died in 1121. Where his palace was or where he lies buried remains a mystery.
Domnall son of Ardgar son of Lochlainn, over-king of Ireland, pre-eminent among the Irish in form and lineage, in sense and valour, in happiness and prosperity, in giving valuables and food, died in Daire Coluim Cille in the thirty-eighth year of his reign.
Annals of Ulster, late 15th century