Saul, County Down


Saul, County Down

Saul (in Irish: "Sabhall", ie a barn) is a small village in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is situated about 2 miles outside Downpatrick. Saul is situated in the Down District Council area.

Places of interest

*Saul Church, a replica of an early church with a round tower, is built on the reputed spot of St Patrick's first sermon and church in Ireland. When St Patrick came to Ireland in 432 strong currents swept his boat through the Strangford Lough tidal narrows and he landed where the Slaney River flows into the lough. The local chieftain, Dichu was quickly converted and gave him a barn ("sabhal" pronounced 'saul' in Gaelic) for holding services. St Patrick died in Saul on 17 March 461 and is buried in nearby Downpatrick.
*Close by, on the crest of Slieve Patrick hill is a massive statue of Patrick where bronze panels illustrate scenes from the life of Ireland's Patron saint.

History

*The village and the area are steeped in Irish and Christian history and it is noted that Christianity developed there under Saint Patrick's teachings when he plucked a shamrock from the fertile Saul soil and explained the Holy Trinity through its three leaves. It can be strongly argued that Saul was the ecclesiastical centre in Ireland at that time.
*Local large families in the area included the Fitzsimons, Ritchies, Hamptons, Hamills, Moores and Hayes.

References

* [http://www.geographia.com/northern-ireland/ukidwn03.htm Geographia - St Patricks Country]
* [http://www.downdc.gov.uk/template1.asp?parent=133&pid=226&area=4&aNAme=Council Down District Council]
* [http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/town_Home.aspx?co=7&to=172&ca=0&sca=0&navID=1 Culture Northern Ireland]

External links

* [http://www.saul-gac.com/ St Patricks Gaelic Athletic Club, Saul]

See also

*List of villages in Northern Ireland
*List of towns in Northern Ireland


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