Down Cathedral is located in the town of Downpatrick in Northern Ireland and it carries a history behind which we got to know about from Lee Howard, one of the tour guides at Down Cathedral.

Discover the History of St Patrick at Down Cathedral - St. Patrick's Grave - Northern Ireland
Discover the History of St Patrick at Down Cathedral - St. Patrick's Grave - Northern Ireland

The first chapter of Down Cathedral was a little wooden church with a defensive tower and what one will see now when looking down at Downpatrick town, it would not be the same, but there was a river going around and thus it was always considered a place of faith and a place of safety.The development of Down Cathedral went through several stages. There are some references to early Celtic monasteries on this site from 6th/7th century onwards. In the early 12th century there was an Augustinian House that was established on the site. In 1183, John De Courcy invited Benedictine monks from St. Wenburgh's in Chester to come and establish a monastery, actually parts of the present building today were part of the original monastery. Later on and with the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, the monks left the place in 1538 and the building gradually fell into ruins.Later on and after being kept in ruins for a period of time, in 1609 James I granted a Charter to establish a Dean and Chapter for the cathedral, and although it was still regarded as a ruined site, bishops were consecrated within the wall. Coming closer to the end of the 18th century, Dean Annesley along with Willis Hill and other notable people form that time in County Down raised funds in order to restore this old cathedral and bring it back to life once again.This was not just a cathedral for worship, but it was also a place of monks to work, sleep and it was even a farmland, and that could explain why Down Cathedral was not just a place of worship. Before 1538 when the church was burnt and ruined, it has always been considered a safe and secure place.


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