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William III and the War in Ireland in Twelve Objects: 12. Siege Chair

Updated: Jun 1

This carved wooden chair depicts one of the most dominant images of the Siege of Londonderry.

In the middle of this walled city was the imposing structure of St. Columb’s Cathedral. For 105 days this cathedral acted as a faith centre for the beleaguered garrison and citizenry. It was also the highest building behind the walls.

From time to time during the siege members of the garrison dragged a small cannon to the top of the tower and fired at the Jacobites outside. This was more for propaganda value that military advantage.

According to a document found in the museum, the back board of this chair was made from wood that held this small cannon in place.

The chair itself is a remarkable example of craftsmanship with ball and claw feet, carved armrests and a central panel depicting St. Columb’s Cathedral with a small cannon being fired from the tower.

At the top is a suit of armour flanked by flags, a cannon, and an axe. Carved into the scrollwork is the following ‘1688, Londonderry, No Surrender.

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