On your right is Denvir’s, Downpatrick’s oldest surviving coaching inn. A worn stone tablet in the gable bears the inscription John and Ann McGreevy 1642.
A 17th century fireplace survives inside although the exterior appearance has been altered over the centuries.
Denvir’s was the starting point in 1809 for the first passenger coach service from Downpatrick to Belfast. Fares on the coach, named St Patrick were eleven shillings and fourpence ha’penny (57p) for an inside seat and seven shillings and sevenpence (38p) for an outside one.
There is a tradition that the recess between the front door and the box room window was once a debtor’s sanctuary. The large room upstairs was used in 1829 to accommodate a dinner for Daniel O’Connell, who made a speech to the crowd below. In 1842, the proprietor, James Denvir, was also the agent for the steamer ‘Eclipse’, which plied between Downpatrick, Liverpool and Dublin.
Opposite Denvir’s Hotel was formerly the entrance to Bridge Street which provided the exit route from the town to the north before Church Street was constructed in 1838. Bridge Street was formerly known as Friar’s Lane because it led past the site of a medieval Franciscan friary.
Now turn left along Church Lane, on the lower side of the small square.