Welcome to Downpatrick
Downpatrick is the historic county town of Down and one of Ireland’s oldest towns. It has been known variously by Irish, Latin or English names – Dun, Dunum or Downe. The early medieval Irish name Dun Lethglaise could mean ‘fort of the green-sided place’. It was John de Courcy and the Normans who added ‘Patrick’ to ‘Down’ to claim ownership of the saint.
The town is built on three drumlins and until very recently almost entirely surrounded by water and marshes. This made it an excellent defensive site in prehistoric and medieval times.
This web application will guide you through the town, where you can see many interesting buildings – from churches to gaols, and almshouses to Hunt Clubrooms. Please note that some of these buildings are privately owned and can only be viewed from the outside. You can find out about the sites from our information plaques.