Quoile Countryside Centre
A tidal barrier was built at Hare Island, 3km downstream from Downpatrick, in 1957 to control flooding. The waters enclosed by the...
Saint Patrick Centre
This heritage centre houses a multimedia exhibition called Ego Patricius , charting the life and legacy of Ireland's patron saint....
Built by de Courcy for the Cistercians in 1180 on an earlier Irish monastic site, Inch Abbey is visible across the river from Down...
Lonely Planet review
According to legend, St Patrick died in Saul, where angels told his followers to place his body on a cart drawn by two untamed oxen, and that wherever the oxen halted was where the saint should be buried. They supposedly stopped at the church on the hill of Down, now the site of the Church of Ireland's Down Cathedral.
The cathedral is testimony to 1600 years of building and rebuilding. Viking attacks wiped away all trace of the earliest churches, and the subsequent Norman cathedral and monasteries were destroyed by Scottish raiders in 1316. The rubble was used in a 15th-century church finished in 1512, but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries it was razed to the ground in 1541. Today's building dates largely from the 18th and 19th centuries, with a completely new interior installed in the 1980s.
In the churchyard immediately south of the cathedral is a slab of Mourne granite with the inscription 'Patric', placed there by the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club in 1900, marking the traditional site of St Patrick's grave .
To reach the cathedral, take the path to the left of the Saint Patrick Centre, uphill through the landscaped grounds.