Wednesday, May 04, 2011

St Patrick's Well, Templepatrick, Donaghadee


Found this Victorian map a while ago, drawn at a time when there was still knowledge of the story of St Patrick's arrival at the small townland of Templepatrick just south of Donaghadee, having sailed across the 18 miles of water from Portpatrick in Scotland. You can see 'S. Patrick's Well" marked here. My mother grew up near Millisle (most of her family still live around there) and she told me the story when I was a wee lad. It can also be read in "The Bangor Season" by W.G. Lyttle, a local tourism brochure which was published in 1888, and it's also recorded in the first edition of The Montgomery Manuscripts. Personally, I'm not that bothered about Patrick, the Scottish ministers who came to Ulster in the early 1600s are far more interesting to me (such as Edward Brice, the first Presbyterian minister in Ulster, who arrived here in 1613). But it's a shame that the official "Saint Patrick Trail" leaves out this most historic of sites which has 400 years of documented and oral tradition - whilst many of the sites which are on the trail, whilst interesting in themselves, have little or no connection with Patrick. It's also a shame that Templepatrick - like so many sites of authentic heritage - is today in such poor condition, forgotten and neglected.