The ancient eastern area of County Down around Strangford Lough is rich in Christian heritage. Known as the ‘Cradle of Christianity’ it has a wealth of abbeys, churches and monastic sites. In addition there are St Patrick’s Wells, the best preserved holy wells in Ireland.
On the Ards Peninsula is Templecowey, the site of three holy wells believed to have healing powers. Pilgrimages took place to St Cooey’s Wells, Templecowey up to the early 20th century.
The ruins of Nendrum monastic site are one of Ireland’s finest surviving examples of an early Christian monastery. North Down Museum in Bangor has an excellent exhibition on the early Christian period and tells the story of St Columbanus and his travels across Europe spreading Christianity.