Down County Museum
Down County Museum is a free, family-centred visitor attraction located in a stunning Georgian Gaol, and fitted out with interactive displays on the story of County Down over the last 9,000 years.
The museum has over 1,200 objects on show in its refurbished and fully accessible Governor's Residence building and a lively programme of events. Explore genuine cells used to house prisoners between 1796 and 1830, when many convicts were transported to New South Wales.
Lively guided tours, varied temporary exhibitions and a tearoom with a unique view of the River Quoile and the Mound of Down can all be found here.
Many important figures in history are closely associated with County Down in general, and Downpatrick in particular, but none are better known than St Patrick. Most of what we know about St Patrick comes from two works written by him, the Confessio and the Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. They are preserved in later manuscripts, as are stories and legends which grew with his fame.
Little survives from St Patrick’s own time, but the Museum extends its interest to include not only related archaeological material but also historic and contemporary artwork. Other objects might appear more ephemeral but nevertheless help to explore our own perceptions and explain something of the history and hagiography of our patron saint.
The Museum has collected a large number of books relating to St Patrick and Early Christian Ireland, which can be consulted, by appointment, in the Museum’s library.