Discover St Patrick’s Lasting Legacy in County Down

February 22, 2017

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Even in these modern times, Saint Patrick is still renowned as one of the most fascinating and iconic saints. Tucked away in the magnificent surroundings of County Down, his legacy continues to shine through to this day.

Order of Saint Patrick, Bagenals Castle

En route to beautiful surroundings of County Down, we recommend a detour via Newry. Here you’ll find Bagenals Castle, a fortified house built by Nicolas Bagenal and home to a number of exhibitions including a set of robes from the Order of Saint Patrick.

Bagenal's Castle, St Patrick's Trail

The Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick

Onwards we go, arriving in Downpatrick, where the first stop is the interactive exhibition experience at The Saint Patrick Centre.

It’s the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to know more about this world-famous patron saint. Here you can explore his ancient and modern legacy, and listen to Saint Patrick recall the story in his own words.

Saint Patrick Visitor Centre Downpatrick

Down Cathedral

Down Cathedral

The final resting place of Saint Patrick, Down Cathedral, is marked with a granite stone, cross and the name ‘Patric’ – the grave can be found in the cemetery adjoining the cathedral.

Built in 1183, and an ancient building in its own right, the interior won’t disappoint either. Look around and you’ll find magnificent stained glass windows, box pews and a beautiful organ case.

Down County Museum

Down County Museum

Situated in the Georgian County Gaol, Down County Museum holds an important collection of early Christian objects and artefacts, including stone carved crosses and works of art and material relating to Saint Patrick.

Inch Abbey

Inch Abbey Saint Patrick

Following on the trail of Saint Patrick on the banks of the idyllic River Quoile, lie the ruins of Inch Abbey. John de Courcy founded this Cistercian Abbey in 1180 and it was here that he commissioned the monk Jocelyn to write the life of Saint Patrick.

Saint Trassach and Saul Church

St Patrick's Church Saul

A must-visit are the church ruins of Saint Trassach (near Raholp) where the saint was given the last rites, and Saul Church, built in 1932 to commemorate Saint Patrick’s first church in Ireland.

Close by on the crest of Slieve Patrick, is a huge statue of the saint erected in 1932 to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of Patrick’s return to Ireland.

Extend your stay

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