Outside Down Cathedral on the highest part of Cathedral Hill lies the grave of Saint Patrick, the apostle of Ireland. By the early medieval period Patrick’s grave had become an important site for the developing church and an important monastery had grown around it. At this time the tradition of the hill being the burial place of saints Brigid and Columcille had been added to the legend of Patrick, giving rise to the well-known couplet:
“In Down, three saints one grave do fill,
Patrick, Brigid and Columcille.”
A massive granite stone marker was placed on Cathedral Hill in the early 1900’s to protect the grave from the many pilgrims who visited, some of whom were known to take scoops of earth from the grave abroad with them when they emigrated.
Location: Down Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Grave are located on Cathedral Hill beside the Saint Patrick Centre.