Clock Tower, Holywood Priory Church by Stephen Maxwell

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The Old Priory Church is situated on the earliest documented religious site in Holywood, County Down. Established as a monastery in the 7th century it was redesigned as an Augustinian Abbey in 1177 AD on the orders of Sir John de Courcy. By the 15th century it had become a Franciscan Priory and was formally dissolved during the reign of Henry VIII. It was rebuilt as a parish church during the Plantation of Ulster but was finally abandoned as a place of worship in 1844. The surrounding graveyard is still in use and some of the older headstones still bear the details of their Norman origin. The tower seen in this image was a later 18th centrury addition.

286 Views as at 20/03/13.


abbey, church, down, graveyard, holywood, monastery, parish, priory


  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyabout 5 years ago

    What a beautiful old church (and surroundings). Interesting write up, too. Very nicely done!

  • Thank you Mike, you can see (or may have seen) a wider viiew of the area in ‘Holywood Priory Church’ in my portfolio.

    – Stephen Maxwell

  • katekreations
    katekreationsabout 4 years ago

    Weekly Feature Monday 28th June 2010


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