Project Description

Bangor Christian Heritage Trail

Early Irish saints had an enormous and lasting impact on the development of Christianity across Europe, and none were as influential as the men who studied in this area.  Bangor was one of most important monasteries in Early Ireland.  Under the rule of Saint Comgall, saints such as Columbanus and Gall would be inspired to travel to the Continent to spread Christianity to lands torn by warfare and strife.  These men would go on to found some of Europe’s most important and lasting Christian centres in France, Austria and Italy.  Even today the names of these ancient Irish saints are held in reverence across the Continent.  The Bangor Christian Heritage Trail allows you to follow in their footsteps to discover the land that so influenced them to spread the Word of God.

Project Brief

North Down and Ards have been at the centre of Ireland’s Christian Heritage from the fifth century onwards, and the legacy of the holy men who studied and worshipped in this area has left an important and lasting legacy across Europe.  In 2015, Abarta Heritage won the contract to help Ards and North Down Borough Council to tell the story of these ancient monks and their enduring legacy, with the development of a heritage trail along with the production of an audio guide, a smartphone app, interpretative panels and waymarkers and brochures.  The project was part-funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it was delivered in time to celebrate the landmark 1400 anniversary of the death of Columbanus.

Bangor Christian Heritage Trail FundersOne of the interpretative panels designed for the Bangor Christian Heritage Trail
Bangor Christian Heritage Trail – the view from Smelt Mill Bay
Bangor Abbey, one of the highlights of the Bangor Christian Heritage Trail
Replica Monks Cell In the North Down County Museum part of the Bangor Christian Heritage Trail
  • Visit the Bangor Christian Heritage Trail Website

  • North Down County Museum Opening Times

    Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 16:30
    Sunday 12:00 – 16:30
    Closed on Mondays, except July, August and Bank Holidays

  • Download the free Bangor Christian Heritage Trail App

  1. 001 Introduction – Bangor Christian Heritage Trail Abarta Heritage 4:11
  2. 002 Malachy's Wall 3:04
  3. 003 Bangor Abbey Abarta Heritage 10:46
  4. 004 St. Comgall's Church Abarta Heritage 4:23
  5. 005 Strickland's Glen Abarta Heritage 1:17
  6. 006 Smelt Mill Bay Abarta Heritage 8:13
  7. 007 The Coas