Clooney, Chatham, Hill, Cooke and St Columb’s are names that have associated with the house and the surrounding area for the past 1500 years. They represent the diversity of the history connected to a building located next to the city of Derry with roots that extend back to the sixth century.
St Columb’s Park House also has its place in literary history as novelist William Makepeace Thackery of Vanity Fair fame stayed for a night in September 1840.
The House played many roles throughout its existence primarily due to its strategic position high on the east bank of the river overlooking the City. Requisitioned by the British Army during World War 2, the proximity of the house to Ebrington barracks and Clooney base rendered it a valuable asset to the war effort.
After the War, the house was leased by the Health Board until 1985 after which time the house fell into disrepair and dilapidation.
In 1993 St Columb’s Park House was renovated and developed as a neutral venue where groups and individuals come together to work on cross-community programmes. Another investment came in 2010 and an extension was added to the House which together with the opening of the Peace Bridge makes this old manor house a state of the art conference and reconciliation facility close to the centre of the City.
For more information, download this article about the history of the house.