Down Patrick Cathedral in ruins
Watercolour depicting Downpatrick Cathedral as it was in 1790, before it was renovated. Built in the 13th century the cathedral is situated on the historic Hill of Down. This area as been a focus of Christian worship for hundreds of years- legend holds that the body of St Patrick, who introduced the Catholic faith to Ireland, is buried here. The Cathedral was laid waste in 1541 at the suppression of the monasteries and by 1790 it was a ruin. In this year Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough and the resident Dean, the Honourable Reverend William Annesley provided the funds and the motivation to restore it. The round tower that can be seen in the painting was demolished for safety reasons when the renovations took place and the masonry from it was reused in the new cathedral.