||Downpatrick is the
county town of Down, excavations have unearthed evidence of early
Bronze Age round houses, later Bronze
Age occupation has been recognized on the Cathedral Hill. At that
time Strangford Lough would have flowed around the cathedral hill.
It is thought that the Lough and the
Quoile River would have flooded right up to Loughinisland but the building
of the Quoile barrier in the 1950's ended that although Downpatrick still
continues to flood regularly in periods of heavy rain.
The southern part of Downpatrick being built on the flood plain of the
Quoile river the council offices Rathkeltair House and Safeways/ Morrisons
being built on the marshland formally known as The Lough of Down. Legend
has it that the Vikings sailed round the Cathedral Hill when the came
The Cathedral in Downpatrick is reputed to be the burial
place of St. Patrick, also supposedly buried there are St Bridged and
The Cathedral in Downpatrick incorporates
parts of the 13th century church of the Benedictine Abbey of Down (Blacks
Monks). Two small crosses now built into the wall of Down Cathedral seem
to be 12th century work. They are carved with ecclesiastics with books,
similar to 12th century crosses found in Counties Clare, Tipperary and
Galway. The cathedral stood roof less and derelict for many years until
it was remodeled in 1798-1812 by Charles Lilly of Dublin. Downpatrick
was the site of several religious houses, as well as the seat of the Bishop.
Chronology of the
||Arrival of Patrick
||Death of Patrick
||Death of Scannlan. (First recorded Abbot.)
||The monasteries of Down and amp; Movilla were raided
by the Vikings.
||A stone church and round tower burned by lightening.
||Malachy founds the Augustinian Friary at Downpatrick.
||Death of Malachy First recorded Bishop.
||Arrival of John de Courcy
||Founding of Benedictine Monastery dedicated to St Patrick.
||Monks petition Henry III about their Cathedral.
||Cathedral plundered by Edward Bruce.
||Suppression and dissolution
of the Monasteries by Henry VIII.
||Grant of charter to Cathedral
||Restoration of the cathedral begins.
||Die-establishment of with consequent loss of endowment.
||Revival of St Patrick's day parade.