Downpatrick

Irish Local Names Explained

Downpatrick takes its name from the large entrenched dun near the cathedral. In the first century this fortress was the residence of a warrior of the Red Branch Knights, called Celtchair, or Keltar of the battles, from whom it is called in Irish authorities, Dunkeltar. By ecclesiastical writers it is commonly called Dun-da-leth-glas, the fortress of the two broken locks (glas) or fetters. This long name was afterwards shortened to Dun or Down, which was extended to the county. The name of St. Patrick was added, to commemorate his connexion with the place.

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