Heritage Engagement

Heritage Engagement at The St Patrick Centre


The Saint Centre in Downpatrick has created a new role-Heritage Engagement Officer with support for the Heritage Lottery Fund. Claire Torrens, who holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Ulster, is working with local groups and is recruiting a team of volunteers with an interest in local heritage to lead walks for visitors on Saint Patrick’s Way.

The Centre is the only permanent exhibition to Saint Patrick in the world and has created the new role for three years with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Centre as volunteer or a guide please contact Claire Torrens on 028 4461 9000 or email Claire on: heritage@saintpatrickcentre.com

2023 International Walking Festival

The Saint Patrick Centre launched our first International Walking Festival from the 12th-17th June 2023.

Throughout the week The Saint Patrick Centre and local walking groups in County Down hosted a variety of walks in and around Saint Patrick’s Country.

Walks included Tobar Mhuire Estate and Woods with Killyleagh Walking Group, Exploring the Quoile with local guide Mariead Sweeney and walking the grounds of Tobar Mhuire with Crossgar Ladies Walking Group.

For fans of rambling Kilbroney Ramblers led hikes from Meelmore Lodge up through the scenic Mourne Mountains.

Our 2023 International Walking Festival also included Heritage walks which included: Downpatrick and the 1798 Rebellion and Gaols in Downpatrick led by Heritage Officer for Newry Mourne and Down District Council Linda McKenna. Downpatrick’s Archaeology and Early Settlements led by Dr Colm Donnelly and Valhalla-Walk of the Vikings at the Medieval Settlement in Ballydugan.


Saint Patrick's Way
Over the past few years the Saint Patrick Centre has developed a series of walking caminos in places such as Downpatrick, Newcastle, Lecale, Saul, Inch Abbey and Ballyhornan to Ardglass, with hundreds of visitors walking these marvellous sights. As the popularity of these walks continue to grow the Centre hopes to recruit more volunteers to lead these walks.
Saint Patrick's Way
School Educational Visits

Throughout the year our Heritage Engagement Officer has been hosting educational visits for primary and secondary schools. Educational visits range from tours of our permanent exhibition on Saint Patrick, Saint Patrick’s Grave and Scriptorium workshops. During Easter, Halloween and Christmas special craft workshops are held for local primary schools. Likewise, specialist talks are also held which includes the marking of Holocaust Memorial Day.

2nd International Day of Celtic Art Festival 2023

Following the first ever Celtic Art Conference in Andover, New York, in 2019, The Saint Patrick Centre hosted the 2nd International Day of Celtic Art Conference from 8-11th June 2023. 16 speakers – both artists and scholars in a variety of media from visual design and textile to metalwork, woodwork and ceramics came to Downpatrick from destinations around the world including the USA, Canada, Scotland, Isle of Man and Ireland. The Conference included exhibitions of Celtic Art, technical demonstrations and workshops as well as a Conference Dinner/Show and excursion.

Speakers included co-organiser of the 1st International Day of Celtic Art Festival in Andover, New York, Stephen Walker who started his business ‘Walker Metalsmiths’ in 1984 which primarily focuses on Celtic designs. Celtic Artist Hamish Burgess from Maui, Hawaii whose artwork has featured in Mick Fleetwood’s gallery in Lahaina. Textile artist Ruth Black from Inverness, who works in the field of ecclesiastical embroidery and specialises in pieces that incorporates tartans with Celtic designs.

One Show walks Saint Patrick's Way

The One Show walked Saint Patrick’s Way ahead of Saint Patrick’s Day 2023. Taking in the breath-taking views of the Quoille River and Saint Patrick’s First Church in Ireland at Saul. For more information and to book our Saint Patrick’s Way Canoe Experience click HERE

Songs of Praise Visit Saint Patrick's Way

Pilgrims on The Journey, our five day walking experience, met Claire McCollum and the BBC Songs of Praise team who filmed their progress on day three of The Journey. This included a tour of the Iconic Mound of Down, the striking Medieval Down Cathedral built by Norman Knight John De Courcey, and Saint Patrick’s Grave where Saints Brigid and Colmcille are also buried.  Our five day Journey Pilgrimage includes walks in Ballyhornan, Rostrevor, Downpatrick and Newcastle. For more information and to join us on our Saint Patrick adventures click HERE

Find Us

The Saint Patrick Centre,
Saint Patrick’s Square,
Market Street, Downpatrick,
BT30 6LZ

Opening hours
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm
9am - 5pm July/August