Heres some pics and quotes from our wee dander....
Was the location of Gwynn’s Institute for Orphan Boys from Derry and Donegal between the ages of 8 to 12 years, it was built at a cost of£10,000 as part of a £40,608.93 halfpenny will bequeathed by the late John Gwynn a who had a Grocery business in Bishop Street Derry, he was born in Drumskellen Muff Co Donegal, he died in 1829 and is buried in the Church of Ireland Graveyard in Muff just on the Derry Donegal Border. The Orphanage was opened in Shipquay Street Derry in 1832 following a Cholera outbreak that year, it later moved to the new building in Brooke Park in 1840.
Gwynn was a successful business man, a Bachelor, who was himself orphaned at a young age wanted other Orphans to receive a home, food and clothing and above all, a good education. The Institute opened in 1840 and four years later a man called Young asked that the home be opened to Girls who also found themselves alone in the world. The Institute closed in 1896 the Charitable which was known as Gwynn & Young continued to offer financial support to the needy for a long number of years after the Institute closed.
The first thing to strike the visitor when going through the
The grounds known as Brooke Park after Benefactors, the Brooke Family of Brookhill off Culmore Road L‘derry. When James Hood Brooke died in 4th August 1865 (buried in St Columb’s Cathedral Graveyard) his will stated that he wanted the residue of his estate to secure an area of land to be used for recreation by the citizens of Derry. The money was placed in a trust fund and when his sister Margaret died in 1884 she also left the residue of her estate to the trustees. There was now a sum of over £10,000, which was used to buy land and design the Park it was laid out in trees shrubs and a fish pond it opened in 1901.
The Park was later bought by the City with the help of money donated by the Honourable Irish Society the City Council has administered the Park to the present day.
- G McGill
The second in front of the ornate gates is an imposing statue of Sir Robert Alexander Ferguson, Bart and MP for the City for 30 years, he was fondly referred to as “The Black Man” he was Born on 26 Dec 1831 and Died 13th March 1860, he married Elizabeth Alexander, daughter of Robert Alexander of Boomhall, Culmore. He is Buried in the graveyard adjoining Augustine’s Church L‘Derry, known as “The Wee Church on the Walls” - G McGill