History of Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry.

I'm doing some work on my memoirs.

I did several tours on Op Banner in Ebrington Barracks in the 70's and 80's. I recall a ships mast and figure head outside what I always presumed to be the original guardroom. From that I assumethat the site was originally a Royal Navy establishment.

Question is: does anyone please know the name of the figurehead or the site before the took over?

Thank you in anticipation of sensible replies!
ships mast was not there early 90's, figure head was situated by the med centre below RHQ am wracking my brain for the name of the ship it was from... and where it went 2 on closure.

A history of barracks in Londonderry

Thats coz it wasnt near the bar!!!!!!!! When u there Htb?
bored_squaddie said:
HMS Sybil or HMS Sybille i seem 2 remember.
'HMS Sea Eagle' I think.

Unless Basil was in residence when it would have become HMS 'Sybil!'.
bored_squaddie said:
nope.... Hms Sea eagle was name of Navy camp.
Which became Ebrington Bks when the Navy moved out and the Army moved in.
I was there in 1972, but I don't remember a figurehead (but it was a very long time ago). I remember there was a US Navy unit not far away on the Ballykelly road (communications centre, I think). We weren't allowed to mix with them as I think PIRA had warned them off.
There was indeed a very gaudy ship's figurehead nailed to a tree above a wall down past the original gatehouse. As children (our father worked in the Anti-Submarine School and had an office below the wall) we called her Saucy Nancy. On a recent damp visit to the rather spoiled site I asked the guide about her whereabouts and was told curtly that she had been removed and sent to Southampton.

Rather a pity, I thought, as Saucy Nancy represented a calmer time in the site's history, nineteen fifties/early sixties, when the only security needed was a low wall gradually rising along the Limavady Road.
Which became Ebrington Bks when the Navy moved out and the Army moved in.
Growing up in the town, we referred to the location as both Ebrington Bks and HMS Sea Eagle. BADAL's post explains the 'official' changeovers. Nice to see the HMS Ferret mentioned. There's be some Int. Corps types who like myself will have worked with a few 'characters' from this ship.


Book Reviewer
In 1970 it was still HMS Sea Eagle and Brigade ops room still had the huge two floors high Western Approaches map up on the wall ,covering the whole North Atlantic with the OS map of Ulster stuck to it, The Royal Naval unit at RAF Ballykelly 819 Sqn FAA was also called Sea Eagle at that time


Book Reviewer
In 1973 HMS Berry Head was used as accommodation in Fort George she was a WW 2 Liberty ship built in Canada and used as a Submarine depot and repair ship, hence the HMS and was only sold off a few years ago, and I believe is still on the for sale list


I suppose I think that it is rather a pity that the post war strategic importance of the HMS Sea Eagle base has been forgotten. I always got the impression that it was a fair employer in a town where that may not have been common practice. My father (an MOD scientist) travelled all over the NATO world from Sea Eagle and Ballykelly, educating the masses on anti-submarine warfare, I presume.

I think he was still there when the RUC were moved in after October 1968 but left soon after when the HMS Sea Eagle base was decommissioned and turned over to the army.

As to ships, I rem regular visits from Canadian ships and subs, and also the HMS Stalker sailors who helped out at the annual fireworks on the "playing fields" at Clooney.
During WW2 Londonderry probably played an important part in the Battle of the Atlantic, as a base for escort groups.

Give me some time and I will look up some of my Battle of the Atlantic books. I have reason to suspect that maintenance, fitting and repair of radar gear was done there.

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