The Mound of Down is an ancient monument which gives County Down its name. Originally the home of Celtair - Rath Celtair - this became a stronghold for the Dál Fiatach, a powerful army who once owned the Isle of Man. It is a good example of an Iron Age defensive earthwork in the middle of which a Norman Motte and Bailey was built by John de Courcy after his defeat of Rory Mac Donlevy in 1177.

Originally on the shores of Strangford Lough this site was an excellent military base. The land around has been reclaimed since the 1700s. Today the site is an impressive motte and bailey style fort which was abandoned before completion.

From the top of the incomplete mound you have an excellent view over Down Cathedral and Inch Abbey. In the distance are the Mourne Mountains. During the summer the site is left to grow as a wildlflower meadow.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in United Kingdom

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Paul Stevenson (2 years ago)
Iron age earthworks fort. Mound within is a curious shape. Between Downpatrick town and Marshes. The whole area has references to the didtant past with the Nearby scenic ruins of Inch Abbey. Down Cathedral which is reputed to be the burial place of St Patrick.
Baron Radical (2 years ago)
Amazing. I can comfortably let my greyhound out here to run around and the 360 view from the very top is lovely
Tiarnán Millar (3 years ago)
Inaccessible, poorly signposted, neglected
Simon McGarry (3 years ago)
Peaceful and tranquil
AOK Curator (4 years ago)
Tough climb but worth it for the view.
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