Within the grounds of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services at Northland Road Londonderry is the Victorian villa which was formerly the residence of the Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum. The property was constructed circa 1873 and it is a four bay, two storey over basement building. It is rock- faced with Dungiven sandstone. A lack of balance is exacerbated by the narrower and shorter upper bays.
By the mid 1960's the old District Asylum which had been originally constructed to serve the counties of Londonderry, Tyrone and Donegal was disused and in a very ramshackle state. It was to be found on the lower side of Northland Road. The grounds had become overgrown by then and brambles and self seeded ash and elder saplings abounded. It was at that stage that I came upon the blocked up tunnel which ran between the asylum grounds and the Superintendent's residence. This provided him with his personal mode of entrance to the asylum. My recollection is that the arched tunnel had been blocked up some seven or eight feet back into the entrance.
Sources: City of Derry, An Historical Gazetter. - Daniel Calley