Inch Abbey Road, Downpatrick, BT30 9AX

Ireland's first Gothic building built by John de Courcy

Inch was an ancient abbey plundered by the Vikings in 1002. The site was originally known as Inis Cumhscraidh, named after the son of Conor MacNessa who was killed here by Celtair. The original monastery was on the adjacent hill.

After arriving in the area John de Courcy set about rebuilding it in 1180 as part of a penance for the destruction of another abbey and the killing of so many in the capture of Downpatrick in 1177. He built it in the Gothic style which was emerging from France where he received his army training.


Jocelin of Furness wrote the Life of Saint Patrick here. The Cistercian Abbey was dissolved under Henry VIII and the site has been ruinous since. More recently it has been used as a location on Game of Thrones.


- Car parking

The ruins
View of the site
Downpatrick in the background
View to the nave
View of Down Cathedral
The east windows
View across the lake
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Site design by Duane Fitzsimons

9-11 Bath Street, Ardglass, BT30 7SE

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View of the site

Downpatrick in the background