Excavations show that Downpatrick was a dún (or fort), perhaps as early as the Bronze Age, and its earliest structures were built on the site where this church now sits. Ancient fortifications ultimately gave way to a series of churches, each built atop the ruins of the previous incarnation, over 1,800 years. The current cathedral is an 18th- and 19th-century reconstruction of its 13th- and 16th-century predecessors. Just south of the cathedral stands a relatively recent monolith inscribed with the name "Patric." By some accounts, it roughly marks the grave of the saint, who is said to have died at Saul, 3km (2 miles) northeast. The tradition identifying this site as Patrick's grave seems to go back no further than the 12th century, though, when John de Courcy reputedly transferred the bones of saints Brigit and Columba here to lie beside those of St. Patrick.
The Mall, Downpatrick, Co. Down, Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland
Our Rating Neighborhood Downpatrick is about 34km (21 miles) southeast of Belfast Hours Mon-Sat 9:30am-4:30pm (and for services only on Sun) Transportation To get there from Belfast by car, take A24 then A7; the drive takes just under 40 min\. You can also get there by bus (a 1-hr. trip) from the Europa Bus Station on Great Victoria St. Phone 028/4461-4922 Prices Free admission Web site Down Cathedral
MapThe Mall, Downpatrick, Co. Down Downpatrick County Down Northern Ireland Belfast
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.