Downpatrick Area

Saturday 20 March
The rath in Delamount Park was visited (J519515). There are good traces of an inner bank, a substantial ditch and an outer bank. The rath is greatly overgrown and surmounted by a water-tower.

Inch Abbey (J477455) was visited. This Cistercian Abbey was smaller than the slightly later Grey Abbey. The ruins are generally low with the exception of the east end of the church where there are some very fine lancet windows. There is a piscina in the south wall of the church but only the scar of a triple sedilia remains beside it. The cruciform church had two east chapels in each of the transepts. To the south-west is the ruin of a bakehouse with a large and a small oven. Beyond it is the rectangular remains of a possible guest house.

Some of the buildings in English street, Downpatrick were viewed using the Ulster Architectural Heritage publication as a guide. These include the Old Gaol, the Courthouse and some other fine 18th and 19th century buildings.

The Parish Church, a short distance away is a very fine structure. Most of the building dates from the l8th century but the tower may be l6th century. There are a number of 18th century stones in the graveyard.

The Downpatrick & Ardglass Railway Company has an extensive operation. One of the sugar-beet locos has been dismantled and the tanks and frame have been completely restored. Work is in progress on a 1902 GS&WR coach with gas-lighting similar to the original being installed. The signal-cabin from Kingsbog is being reconstructed on the site. Although the station building is new, the facade was taken from the 19th century gasworks across the road. Plans have been made to extend the platform.

The small motte at Ardilea (J416391 ) was examined. It is about 3m high and sits on top of a small steep hill, the summit of which may have functioned as a bailey. It is greatly overgrown with bramble and thorn.