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Saving the Downpatrick High Cross

Watch the Saving the Downpatrick High Cross video

Downpatrick High Cross

A Mourne granite replica of the Downpatrick High Cross was successfully put in place at the east end of Down Cathedral on Wednesday 16th April 2014.

This followed the removal of the original Cross to nearby Down County Museum for conservation and display in a new gallery to open in 2015.

The Cross was set up by the stonecarvers, S McConnell and Sons of Kilkeel, who scanned the original and created an exact replica from granite quarried on Thomas Mountain, above Newcastle.

The original Cross stood at the foot of the town's English Street up until 1729, when it was dismantled and the pieces dispersed around the town. Francis Joseph Bigger rebuilt the Cross with the help of Hastings Stonecarvers of Church Street in 1897.

While the reconstructed Cross was held together with slate dowels in 1897, the new replica has been constructed using internal steel rods. The carvings on the Cross have been recreated using scanning technology, in order to get as close to the original as possible. Work is still going on to study the carvings so that the biblical scenes can all be identified.

Also watch: Irish TV feature on the Downpatrick High Cross

Find out more about Saint Patrick and Christian Heritage in Northern Ireland, including the 92 mile Saint Patrick's Trail in Counties Armagh and Down.

Places To Visit

Down County Museum, Downpatrick

Down County Museum is located in the old county Gaol of Down. It houses fascinating exhibitions on the history of Down as well as restored cells with life-size figures of prisoners and their gaolers.

Down Cathedral and Saint Patrick's Grave, Downpatrick

Down Cathedral, a Cathedral of the Church of Ireland with magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and beautiful organ case was built in 1183 as a Benedictine Monastry. The patron saint, Patrick is believed to be buried in the nearby graveyard.

The Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick

The Saint Patrick Centre is the starting point for any visitor who wishes to know more about Ireland’s patron saint. The exhibition Ego Patricius – The Story of St. Patrick, explores Patrick’s legacy, and recalls the saint’s story, in his own words.

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European Regional Development Fund