A new book depicting and celebrating many of the lives & stories of the Greater Shantallow area in the early to mid 20th Century.

When purchasing online you can either collect at GSAP offices -just click collection at check out or we can post the book out to you. If you require delivery, please choose either

Parcel first class 3.60 or

Parcel second class 3.10.


Shantallow was the site of Ireland’s first agricultural settlement, thousands of years before Colmcille built his Derry
monastery in the 6th century. It housed its own abbey and castles in medieval times; a royal racecourse in the 18th century; and, more recently, the landing strip for the most famous transatlantic flight of all time when Amelia Earhart dropped into Cornshell.

During the Second World War, the area accommodated one of the main European bases for US troops on their way to D-Day. And, of course, it has also been home to one of the most controversial land frontiers in the world for almost a century.

With the help of eyewitness recordings, library archives, old photographs, and interviews and memoirs compiled by the Forge Writers Group, this new book aims to deliver a people’s history of the ‘old ground’ before it became the new city. See Content below.

Acknowledgements 5
About The Forge 7
Editors’ Preface 8
Introduction – Before the ‘Old Land’ was the New City 10
Chapter I – The Big Houses 15
Chapter II – Memories of a Royal Racecourse 23
Chapter III – War and the Collon Bombing 31
Chapter IV – Saints and Scholars 62
Chapter V – Pastimes and Pursuits 74
Chapter VI – The Racecourse Social Club 83
Chapter VII – Soccer in the Sixties 132
Chapter VIII – Reflections, Recollections and Reminiscences 144
Chapter IX – New Development on Old Ground 173
Chapter X – The Activists Preserving their Cultural Heritage 230
Epilogue 242
Appendix I: The Ancient Townlands 244
Appendix 2: Gun Club Tables 246
Appendix 3: Registers and Directories 248
Appendix 4: Maps 253