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Downpatrick High Cross

Downpatrick High Cross

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When you arrive on the Mall to your left is the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. In front of the Cathedral is a replica of a High Cross carved in about AD 900. The original will be placed on display in Down County Museum after conservation in 2015.

The Cross has been moved several times and formerly served as the Market Cross in front of the Assembly Rooms, now Down Arts Centre.

The surviving remains were re-assembled here in front of the Cathedral in 1897 under the guidance of the antiquarian Francis Joseph Bigger.

The Cross head clearly displays the Crucifixion of Christ on one side, with the two thieves on the side-arms, each flanked by two soldiers.

If you look up at the east end of the Cathedral, you can see three empty niches, in which statuettes of Saints Patrick, Columcille (Columba) and Brigid were once placed.

These are the three saints whose remains John de Courcy’s bishop, Malachy, claimed to have discovered here in 1185, arousing renewed interest in the site as an important place of pilgrimage in Ireland.

Now take the left-hand road around the Cathedral.

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