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Ancient St Patrick stone given to cathedral

by Aaron James

The granite bullaun dates back more than 1000 years to one of the patron saint's earliest landing sites in Ireland, and has since been used as a baptismal font.

It had been kept in the garrison church at Ballykinler, but with the transfer of 2nd Battalion The Rifles to Lisburn, the Army decided to gift the stone to Down Cathedral in Downpatrick.


The stone was once housed in a small 12th century church in Killyglinne, which is where St Patrick is believed to have landed on his mission to Ireland.

The church fell into decline and the historic bullaun disappeared.

After being used as a bird bath in a Downpatrick garden it was placed in the safekeeping of St Martin of the Mournes - the church at Ballykinler - and used for baptism.

Down Cathedral Dean the Very Revd Henry Hull said: "The gift from the Army is not only welcome but poignant coming in time for the annual pilgrimage from Saul to the Cathedral."

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