“In Down, three Saints one grave do fill,
Patrick, Brigid and Columcille”
In the period following St Patrick’s death in 461 AD the Hill of Down came to be regarded as his traditional burial place. There are references to early Celtic monasteries on this site from 6th / 7th century onwards.
In the early 12th century an Augustinian House was established here. In 1183 John De Courcy invited Benedictine monks from St Wenburgh’s in Chester to come and establish a monastery here. (Chester had been established by monks from Bec in Normandy) Parts of this present building were part of that original monastery.
With the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century the monks left here in 1538 and the building gradually fell into ruin.
In 1609 James I granted a Charter to establish a Dean and Chapter here and although still a ruined site, bishops were consecrated within the walls.
Towards the end of the 18th century Dean Annesley, along with Willis Hill (of Hillsborough) and many of the notable families of County Down raised funds to completely restore this building.
You are very welcome to visit Down Cathedral. It is situated within a short walk from Downpatrick town centre and is adjacent to The Saint Patrick Centre.
Down Cathedral is first and foremost a place for prayer and worship, not only for the local congregation and people of the Church of Ireland Diocese, but for all those in Ireland and beyond who cherish the faith of Patrick. It is in effect a house of prayer for all nations.
It is our prayer that all who enter the Cathedral would be lifted out of the strain of the preoccupation with material concern, the intrigue and expediency of political wrangling and the vain search for instant pleasure and be taken back to our roots, to faith in God through Christ, who alone can put life in perspective and give it true meaning and lasting satisfaction.
Monday—Saturday, between 9:30am and 4pm.
Or join us for a service.
Cathedral Office, English Street, Downpatrick
BT30 6AB Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 4461 4922 Fax: 028 4461 4456