Downpatrick is one of Ireland’s most ancient and historic towns. It takes its name from a Dun (Fort) which once stood on the hill that dominates the town and on which Down Cathedral stands.
The Largest town in the Lecale area, Downpatrick is a commercial, recreational and administrative centre for the locality and serves as a hub for nearby towns and villages, within an hours drive of Belfast, Downpatrick serves as a commuter town for a large number of people. The town has a number of Nursery, Primary and Post Primary Schools educating students from all over the East Down Area.
St. Malachy was born in Armagh in 1094. He was ordained a Priest by St. Cellach in 1119. He was chosen Abbot of Bangor in 1123, a year later he was consecrated Bishop of Down & Connor and in 1132, he was promoted to the Primacy of Armagh.
St. Malachy founded a Priory of Austin Canons at Downpatrick.
St. Malachy’s Feast Day is celebrated on November 3rd. He is Patron Saint of The Archdiocese of Armagh and The Diocese of Down & Connor.
Struell Wells are a set of Four Holy Wells, located 1.5 miles east of Downpatrick. The Wells date from before the time of St. Patrick. Pilgrims from all over the world visit the Wells, particularly on Mid -Summers Eve and the Friday before Lammas.
The site is traditionally associated with St. Patrick, who is supposed to have come from nearby Saul to bathe in the waters. St. Patrick’s is said to have blessed the wells.