The Civil rights movement in Derry from 1968 to 1972 was known as “Free Derry”, as part of this movement the residents of the Bogside declared the area as an autonomous nationalist area. In January 1969, graffiti was painted on the wall at the end of a row of terrace houses stating “You are now entering Free Derry” to represent this declaration. When the British Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, came to Derry in August it was professionally repainted with a white background and black lettering, which was retained in its current design.
The houses were demolished shortly after but the wall was retained as a free standing gable wall, currently between the 2 carriageways of the Lecky road, in the middle of the Bogside. It is now known as the Free Derry Corner, it is a monument to the civil rights era and is frequently repainted with different colours or variations of the slogan to mark events. It is a major part of many tours of the city and it is popular with visitors who often have their photo taken in front of it.