All that remains now is the gable wall of what was, in 1969, 33 Lecky Road, the last house in the row, also known then as Fox’s Corner, and now known as Free Derry Corner.
In the image below, Free Derry Corner is the northern wall of the unit marked in red. Fahan Street comes in from the right, St Columb’s Wells comes in from the bottom middle to meet it, and Lecky Road runs along the left-hand side.
Some sources give “Columb’s Street” as the address of Free Derry Corner, intending “St Columb’s Street”, citing Eamonn McCann’s War And An Irish Town. A “St Columb’s Street” is listed in a 1911 directory of Derry. Maps of the time (1969) appear to show Fahan Street and Lecky Road intersecting but perhaps St Columb’s Street is the span at the end of Fahan Street between Lecky Road and St Columb’s Wells.
Here is an aerial image, (taken from the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, as presented here), of the Bogside in 1972. The view is looking northeast; the river Foyle is visible at the top, the walls of the old city run from top to bottom just to the right of centre, and the steep grassy slope that sweeps down to Free Derry Corner is in the bottom centre. The houses of Lecky Road are still in place, with Free Derry Corner at the top end. St Columb’s Wells is the street at the bottom-centre of the image.
And Eamonn turned around and said, ‘Why don’t you go and paint a sign on that gable wall over there?’ I asked what we should we paint up, and guys made suggestions like “We Demand Free Beer” and various other things. Then McCann turned round and said, ‘Why don’t you stick up “You are now entering Free Derry”?’ I said, ‘That’s it, we’ll stick that up,’ and turned round and said, ‘anybody know where I can get some paint and a brush?’ And this wee fella standing on the right-hand side of me said his aunt lived up the street a bit.
So we went and found a can of yellow paint and a can of blue paint, anything else didn’t have much in it. I remembered that yellow and blue made green, so I mixed them together. I got this old hard brush and me and the wee boy walked back down to the corner and up to the gable wall. Big Danny Begley was about six foot tall so he leaned up against the wall with his hands interlocked and gave me a lift up. Chris Armstrong held the paint and I dipped into it.”
(Derry Journal) (Hillen died on Christmas Day, 2018 – Derry Journal.)
(Image from Free Derry Museum, perhaps taken by Jim Davies)
And here is a 1971 shot (unfortunately without attribution) of the gable wall at street-level:
(A similar image appears in this Derry Journal article.)
There is a Guildhall Press image (possibly by Barney McMonagle) of “care-Free Derry”.
Here is an image from 1976. The wall, including the slogan, has been repainted.
A Derry Journal article from 1976 reports a petition of 154 signatures claiming that the wall is unsafe.
This 1986 image shows the wall now with an apex and buttresses, and a flagpole. A new, full-size slogan in sans-serif font is painted on the gable. The old maisonettes are still standing in the background.
Ribbon + sniper + Kurdish flag (M05512)
“Bush Not Welcome” (2003) (M02042 M02043 pinterest)
“Iraq – troops out. Vote McCann” graffiti (NWPressPics date given is 2000-03)
“McCann’s Your Man – Vote no 1” (200?) graffiti (M05510)
2006 normal appearance but with “Wear A Black Shamrock” stencil on buttress (M02759).
2007-08 Normal appearance + black ribbon
2008-08 Normal appearance + “Civil Rights” oak leaves (Tovey)
2009-02 “You are now entering free Gaza” – remnants of previous (geograph)
2009-10 Derry To Gaza – blockade trip (indymedia)
2010-04 Set The Truth Free (Barnes)
2010-05 “One World 28 – 30 May” blue, pink, green, red hands (Flickr)
2011-?? flying large Tricolour (M06521 M06522 M06630)
2011-08 Cosmos (M07232 M07234 M07260)
2011-?? Cosmos with “Support the POWs” graffiti (M07285) (M07441 shows Cosmos being painted out, the wall being restored to standard – see M07444)
2012-03 “International Women’s Day – interned and isolated” – Marian Price posters (pommietravels)
2012-04-03 Stan Petrov graffiti (Derry Journal)
2012-09 flying a Cuban flag (M08898)
2012-11 roughly “Never Again” Savita Halappanavar posters (Blue Badge Guide)
2013-01 fleadhcheoil.ie (M10154 M10245)
2013-04 “Thatcher’s dead …” + “Ding dong …” (Reuters)
2013-04 Ding dong, the witch is dead (Thatcher) + “Two snakes too many – end internment” (Whorriskey)
2013-04 “Two snakes too many – end internment” St Patrick – Theresa Villiers – David Ford (M09212 | McLaughlin)
(X05235)2013-06 “RUC not welcome in Bogside – BRY” (Menzies)
2013-?? flying a green, white and black flag (M09633)
2013-06-07 or 08 “You are now entering Colmville” (BBC)
2013-06-21 flying AOH flag (Flickr)
2013-?? pink background (M10277 M10278 M10378)
2013-12 Mandela (Whorriskey)
2014-04 the plaster on the wall is replaced
2014-05 DEED – Derry Engages and Empowers Dementia (M11003)
2014-06 “Gerry Conlon 1954-2014 fighting injustice until the end” (Checchi)
2014-07 “The forgotten cancer” paulscampaign.com sarcoma awareness (N&SF Flickr | M11293 shows the normal appearance being restored)
2014-09 Free Scotland (broadsheet.ie)
2015-01 Hand Up Don’t Shoot – Derry – Palestine – Ferguson (Younge)
2015- Paul’s Campaign – sarcoma awareness – “wear the colour yellow” poem (M11594 M11595 M11596 M11597)
2015-?? three posters Maghaberry – brutality – isolation (M12814)
2015-08-28 “Queer Icons – Foyle Gay Pride” – flying rainbow flag (M12820 M12821 | Derry Journal)
2015-12 “Don’t Mourn – Organise” Joe Hill (tripadvisor; faded M12898 M12899)
2016-01-11 RIP Paddy Bogside (irishnews.com)
2016-01-31 flying ‘Irish Republic’ flag (M12913)
2016-05 and 06 James Connolly centenary quote (X03602)
2016-08-04 “Paul’s Campaign – Sarcoma Cancer Awareness” (Hendrickson)
2016-08-11 Edward Daly posters (Derry Journal)
2016-08-27 “You are now entering – use a condom” (NewsWireNI)
2017-01 Rojava Revolution (Derry Now)
2017-04-01 Easter Commemoration Saoradh (Murney)
2017-05 Benefit Cuts Kill (The Mirror)
2018-07 yellow for Paul’s Campaign (Derry Journal)
2018-09 Pink for organ donation campaign (BBC-NI)