Holywood Priory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A monastery was founded by St Laiseran before 640 on the site of the present ruins of the medieval Old Priory at the junction of High Street, Victoria Road and the Old Bangor Road in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland.


7th century: Laiseran (later saint) son of Nasca, a local princess, studied at Bangor under St. Comgall and after a time near Cork, returned to found the first church and monastery. There is some uncertainty whether the site was at the current priory ruins or near the motte by Brooke Street.

10th century: the Vikings ravage the area in 956[citation needed]

12th century: an Anglo-Norman Augustinian abbey built by Thomas Whyte; current ruins largely date from this time

14th century: after the Black Death (1348–1350) Niall O’Neill refurbished the church for the Franciscan Order

16th century: the priory was dissolved on New Years Day, 1541, by Henry VIII; its lands passed to the O’Neill family and later, Sir James Hamilton, First Viscount Clandeboye

19th century: the tower dates from 1806[1] when this was the site of Holywood’s Parish Church


The adjacent graveyard accommodates:


  1. ^ Alexander Thom. "McConville's Protestant Churches before 1853". Irish Almanac and Offical [sic] Directory for 1853. 

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 54°38′35″N 5°49′53″W / 54.64312°N 5.83126°W / 54.64312; -5.83126