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Graveyard Information

Down CI

Graveyard image for this record

County : Down

Denomination : Church of Ireland

Graveyard Name : Down CI

Civil Parish : Down

Town / Townland : Downpatrick

OS Reference : J485447

Other Information : The main entrance is by Church Avenue from English Street but there is another from Church Street The early history of the site is unknown but the tower is possibly part of De Courcy's castle built in the late twelfth century, though more probably it dates from the 16th century There were ecclesiastical foundations (a Franciscan Friary) on the site before the first Parish Church was built about the year 1560 This church fell into disrepair and the present one was built in 1735 A biographical list of the seatholders at this date was compiled by Aynsworth Pilson and is included in Canon L A Pooler's "Down and its Parish Church", Downpatrick, 1907 Another list of seatholders in 1858 and a continuous list of churchwardens since 1702 are also included in this book Edward Parkinson's "The City of Downe", Belfast, 1928 is also a useful source of information The baptismal registers since 1750 and the marriage and burial registers since 1752 are preserved in the church In addition Pilson compiled and indexed marriage (1727-1862) and death (1693-1862) registers for the Downpatrick area Copies are in the Blackwood Collection in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast The graveyard was levelled and tidied during the late 1960's and 8 old stones were lost in the process Other stones were transfered to the edge of the graveyard The oldest stone (Lawe) dates from 1668 but the most famous is "The grave of Russell" Previous to 1790 the burying-ground was confined to the south-east of the church Memorials of the Dead (M D ) contains transcripts of a headstone now lost (XII, 373), the Lee headstone (VII, 21) and of a memorial in the church (11, 64) The memorials in the church prior to 1900 have been copied and all gravestones with dates of death prior to 1865 are included below.

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