About the Co. Londonderry Lieutenancy
The area of the Lieutenancy corresponds with the physical boundaries of the County but excludes the County Borough of the City of Londonderry which is a separate Lieutenancy.
The Lieutenancy area has a population of approximately 160,000 and an area of about 800 square miles. The County of Londonderry is one of contrasting landscapes, with the Sperrin Mountains dominating the southern reaches. To the east and west, the lands fall into the rich agricultural areas of the valleys of the Rivers Bann, Roe, Faughan and Foyle respectively with the town of Limavady at the heart of the richest agricultural land. To the south east, the County extends as far as the shore of Lough Neagh, the largest stretch of inland water in the British Isles. The north is distinguished by the grandeur of the cliffs, shoreline and beaches, of the Atlantic Coast and the magnificent ruins of Downhill Castle and of Mussenden Temple, which clings to the cliff edge. The rail journey from Londonderry to Coleraine is renowned for its scenic beauty. Inland can be found the two oldest deciduous forests in the country at Ness Wood and Banagher Wood, the former of which boasts the highest waterfall in Northern Ireland.
Agriculture and quarrying, tourism and recreation, manufacturing and technological research and development are core to the economy of the County.
The University of Ulster, which is located at four sites across the province, has its administrative headquarters and a major teaching and research campus in Coleraine, the largest town in the Lieutenancy area. The Coleraine campus houses the world-leading School of Biomedical Sciences, the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) and the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute.
There is much pride that Seamus Heaney MRIA, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1995 and described as ‘the greatest poet of our age’, grew up in Bellaghy in the South of the County and is buried there in St. Mary’s Graveyard. In Autumn 2016 the new Heaney HomePlace was opened and is drawing visitors from far and wide including His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.
The Lieutenancy of the County of Londonderry was created in 1831 by His Majesty King William IV to represent the Monarch and to uphold the dignity of the Monarchy in the County. The current Lord-Lieutenant is Mrs Alison Millar who was appointed in 2018.