CountyDownDOWNPATRICKDownCathedral(tourismnorthernireland©NITB)1 ©TourismNorthernIreland

Down Cathedral

Welcome to the Cathedral, close to which we believe the mortal remains of Saint Patrick lie buried, not merely a tourist attraction but a place of pilgrimage and prayer for all people.

Downpatrick, County Down

Opening times

Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4pm.
Sunday 2pm to 4pm.


English Street
County Down
BT30 6AB

In the early 12th century an Augustinian House was established here. In 1183 John De Courcy invited Benedictine monks from St Wenburghs in Chester to come and establish a monastery here. Parts of this present building were part of that original monastery. With the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 the monks left and the building gradually fell into ruin. In 1609 James I granted a Charter to establish a Dean and Chapter here and although still a ruined site, bishops were consecrated within the walls.

Towards the end of the 18th century Dean Annesley, along with Willis Hill (of Hillsborough) and many of the notable families of County Down raised funds to completely restore this building. Over the years, there have been many periods when the Chapter Book records that the Cathedral was closed for repairs. But none was as far reaching as the recent renovations which took place in 1986/7. Attacks of rot were so extensive that the Cathedral Board, acting on professional advice decided to remove almost the entire interior plaster walls and vaulting.

What the visitor sees now is an almost entirely new interior, a replica of that which it replaced.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café in church

  • Café within 500m

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Train station within 250m

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Church of Ireland

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Inch Abbey

Downpatrick, County Down

On the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey.

St Anne

Killough, County Down

As you approach the village, St Anne's is the tallest and most strking building; it has centuries of history, with connections to Strangford village and the Castle Ward Estate.