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April 21, 2007


The little cathedral at Downpatrick has a number of unique features, not least being that it was originally the Quire of the larger monastic church "slighted" by Henry VIII's Commissioners at the dissolution of the monasteries. It also suffered at the hands of Cromwell's Puritans who quarried a great deal of stone from here for fortification elsewhere. The cathedral stands atop the Mound of Down and is approached along a road the leads past the former garrison barracks which later became the prison.

The Cathedral of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity in Downpatrick, Co Down, seen from the approach road at the East end.

The present cathedral was created out of the ruin of the monastic Quire in 1790 and has recently undergone a major restoration. It has several unique features, not least the preserved "Box" pews in the Aisles, the Nave pulpit and the "Return" seating for the Dean, Precentor and Canons. The Bishop's "Cathedra" is placed half way along the Nave opposite the Corporation Bench.

It is a lovely place, with a good feel to it and some wonderful glass in the windows. Not least the window commemorating Patrick himself. This two panel window shows a young Patrick tending sheep and the second an older Patrick as Bishop. For those visiting Co Down, this place is a must for both a prayer time and the tranquility. Christ is there present - and so is Patrick, Columba and Brigid.

Posted by The Gray Monk at April 21, 2007 06:21 PM

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