Exploring The Village Of Saintfield – County Down

Village of Saintfield County Down

Updated On: May 07, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

When it comes to the many villages to explore in Northern Ireland, Saintfield is one of them. It is a village and civil parish in County Down, located about halfway between Belfast and Downpatrick.

Before it was known as Saintfield, this village was known as Tawnaghnym and then Taunaghnieve. This English translation did not appear and come into use until the 18th century. The village has experienced many events throughout history before it reached its current state.

One could visit several different destinations when it comes to Saintfield, such as the Rowallane Garden, which is situated south of the village. There are also various old buildings on the main street, some with old stables and courtyards behind them.

The Village of Saintfield County Down – Northern Ireland

Places to Check Out in Saintfield

While we were visiting this village in County Down, we passed by a couple of places that we consider good attractions. These include the cafes and bakeries, as well as the other historical buildings that tell more about the history of this place. We passed by Saint Cafe and checked out the interesting sandwiches and sweet stuff on offer.

We have also been to Saintfield Griddle Home Bakery, which serves sweet bakery delights. Rowallane Garden is also worth visiting, as one can enjoy the beautiful green spaces while walking there.

Rowallane Garden
Rowallane Garden

History of Saintfield

In the 16th century, Saintfield was part of South Clannaboy, which Sir Con McNeil Oge O’Neil owned. This land was granted to Sir James Hamilton in 1605, who planted English and Scottish settlers there. In the early 17th-century settlement, the first church was built in 1633. Major General Nicholas Price of Hollymount bought the village in 1709, and he changed its name to Saintfield in the end.

Nicholas Price was the one to take care of this village until his death and also encouraged linen and tradesmen to settle. He also created barracks, repaired the parish church and established markets and fairs. Price was the reason behind the number of corn, flour and flax mills in the village. Some still exist today and have gained a tradition of textile manufacture through Saintfield yarns.

Sign of the village
Sign of the village

Cultural Treasures

Saintfield is also rich in cultural heritage, with a vibrant arts and music scene that celebrates the village’s creative spirit. The annual Saintfield Summer Festival is a highlight of the local calendar, featuring live music performances, art exhibitions, and community events. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and experience the warmth and hospitality of the village’s residents.

Visiting the Saintfield Heritage Centre is a must for those interested in learning more about Saintfield’s history and heritage. Housed in a charming Georgian building, the centre offers a fascinating glimpse into the village’s past through interactive exhibits, archival photographs, and artefacts dating back centuries. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide visitors through the exhibits and share insights into the area’s rich cultural heritage.

Embracing Community Spirit

One of the most remarkable aspects of Saintfield is its strong sense of community spirit, which is evident in the vibrant events and activities that take place throughout the year. From traditional festivals to lively markets, there’s always something happening in this close-knit village.

One highlight of the Saintfield calendar is the annual Saintfield Agricultural Show, a celebration of rural life that draws visitors from far and wide. Featuring livestock competitions, agricultural displays, and family-friendly entertainment, the show is a testament to the area’s proud farming heritage. It provides a beautiful opportunity to experience the countryside’s sights, sounds, and tastes.

Saintfield’s Artisan Market is not to be missed for those passionate about arts and crafts. Held on the first Saturday of every month, this bustling market showcases the talents of local artisans and producers, offering everything from handmade pottery and textiles to delicious artisanal foods and beverages. It’s the perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs and support the local economy while mingling with friendly villagers and soaking up the lively atmosphere.

Outdoor Adventures

View of Rowallane Garden
View of Rowallane Garden

Surrounded by rolling countryside and scenic landscapes, Saintfield is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Lagan Valley Regional Park offers miles of walking and cycling trails, meandering along the banks of the River Lagan and through lush woodland areas. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking by the river, birdwatching, or simply taking in the peaceful surroundings.

For those seeking more adventurous pursuits, the Mourne Mountains are just a short drive away. They offer a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The rugged beauty of the Mournes provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures, with breathtaking views and challenging terrain to explore.

Gastronomic Delights

No visit to Saintfield would be complete without sampling the delicious cuisine for which the village is renowned. From traditional Irish fare to contemporary gourmet delights, there’s something to suit every palate in Saintfield’s thriving culinary scene. Local eateries and pubs serve up hearty dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, while charming tearooms offer a tempting array of homemade cakes and pastries.

Visiting one of Saintfield’s renowned farm shops is a must for those looking to sample the best of Northern Irish cuisine. Here, visitors can browse a tempting selection of artisanal cheeses, homemade preserves, and freshly baked goods produced by local farmers and producers. It’s the perfect opportunity to taste the authentic flavours of the region and support the local community.

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, Saintfield comes alive with various events and festivals that showcase the village’s vibrant culture and community spirit. From traditional music sessions and folk festivals to agricultural shows and craft fairs, there’s always something happening in Saintfield to entertain visitors of all ages.

One of the village’s events calendar highlights is the annual Saintfield Horse Show, a celebration of equestrianism that attracts riders and spectators from across the country. The horse show is a must-visit for anyone who loves horses and all things equine, featuring showjumping competitions, dressage displays, and pony club games.

Another popular event is the Saintfield Christmas Market, which transforms the village into a winter wonderland of festive cheer and seasonal delights. With stalls selling handmade gifts, mulled wine flowing, and carol singers filling the air with music, it’s the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit and pick up some unique Christmas presents.

Other Villages Worth Visiting

In addition to the places and suggestions we gave you in the video above about the village, there are also other places you could check out, such as Saintfield Library, the Rademon Estate Distillery, and Kiltonga Wildlife Reserve, which is not far away from this town.

When talking about villages found in Northern Ireland, like Saintfield, there are some other places that might interest you, such as Carnlough fishing village, which is located in County Antrim and is the perfect destination for having a nice time, not just for fishing. Portballintrae beach village is a good place for some water activities.


The village of Saintfield is a true hidden gem in the heart of County Down, Northern Ireland. With its rich history, stunning scenery, and vibrant community spirit, it offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks, immersing yourself in nature, or indulging in its culinary delights, Saintfield has something to offer everyone. So why not plan your visit today and discover the magic of this charming village for yourself? Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local cuisine, Saintfield promises a memorable experience that will leave you longing to return again and again.

Have you ever been to the Village of Saintfield in County Down before? Be sure to let us know 🙂

Also here are some other places that you might wish to check out also Banbridge, Rostrevor Fairy Glen, Newcastle, Crawfordsburn, Donaghadee, Holywood Town.

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