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Bridge from 1700s and WWII hangars given listed status

By Linda Stewart

Published 26/09/2015

One of the hangars at Eglinton
One of the hangars at Eglinton

An 18th century bridge and three World War Two aircraft hangars are among nine structures in the north west which have won listed status.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan announced he was listing three structures in the village of Claudy - two historic houses and the bridge.

He also listed a row of three terraced houses in Derry and three WWII hangars beside City of Derry Airport. Mr Durkan said the listings in Claudy would be a boost for the village.

"The two rural houses protected are an important remnant of a fast disappearing part of our heritage, and the bridge, with raised cutwaters, is a particularly good example of a bridge from the 18th century," he said.

"Listing will ensure these important assets are preserved and protected as part of Claudy and the region's rich tapestry to be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike."

Cumber Bridge, a late 1700s triple-arched road span, is noted in the 1832 OS Memoirs to be the oldest in the parish. It has a robust and simple design with one angled cut-water on each side extending to parapet level to provide a pedestrian refuge. 

Also listed is a detached single-storey house at Barnahilt Road, Gortilea, that includes a formerly thatched dwelling and outbuildings. 

A single and two-storey house at 24 Lower Ballyarton Road, Lower Alla, has also been listed for protection. 

Both of these buildings were constructed before the 1830s and represent an increasingly rare type of rural house that once characterised the area. 

The three aircraft hangars are located on Airfield Road and Lower Airfield Road in the Maiden City.

They were manufactured by Dorman Long and built for Eglinton Airfield (now City of Derry Airport), which opened as an RAF base in 1941.

It was of strategic importance to the Allies during the war as one of the most westerly bases for warplanes supporting convoys on the crucial North Atlantic route.

They are good examples of blister-type hangars.

A terrace of three-storey Italianate-style townhouses built in 1869 and designed by John Guy Ferguson, a prominent architect of the time, was also listed. 

Mr Durkan said: "Much work has been carried out in recent years to highlight the area's important role in World War Two. This rare collection of airfield hangars are in good condition and listing them will preserve a key slice of our history. It also reminds everyone just how much there is to see in Derry from this important period."

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