Openings ~ 12

The Old Priory at the Bangor end of High Street is part of Holywood’s rich ecclesiastical heritage, today it is surrounded by modern developments. This is Holywood, County Down. Northern Ireland and not Hollywood across the pond, otherwise known as Tinseltown.

The site began as a monastery founded by St. Laiseran in the early 7th Century. The present ruins are 12th century Anglo-Norman, built by Thomas Whyte for the Augustinian Order and much of these ruins remain. After the Black death (1348-1350) Niall O’Neill refurbished the church for the Franciscan Order.

The Priory was dissolved on New Years Day, 1541, by Henry VIII with its lands passing into the hands of the O’Neill family and then to Sir James Hamilton, First Viscount Clandeboye.

The tower dates from the 1800’s when this was the site of the town’s Parish Church.  The Church of Ireland maintained the building until the congregation moved to Church Road in 1844.

The graveyard has some interesting “residents” including members of the Praeger family, the Dunvilles of whiskey fame and Sir Joseph Larmor the world famous mathematician.

8 thoughts on “Openings ~ 12

  1. Rummuser

    I could wander around all day in a place like that and imagine what it must have been when it was full of activity. Used to be a favourite pastime when I used to visit our ancient monuments.

  2. wisewebwoman

    Like Ramana, I love these old places, still full (I imagine) of the energy and sound of people long since gone. it is not hard to imagine them as they were.

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Mike – Thank you. They are not a patch on yours, but give the idea of the place.

    Ramana – I was in no hurry to leave. Better not tell Elly that! 😉

    WWW – I could almost hear the monks singing!

  4. paulo1

    I don’t understand why, but my last four or five comments haven’t turned up here in the comment section. Have I been barred or what ?????

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Judy – Come to Ireland, There are ancient ruins at almost every corner and most are better looking than I am! 😉

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Paulo 1 – There was a problem with a failed IP address (I do keep a check on these things) so I spammed the comment. I have in the past had spammers take a regulars name and try to use it!


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