St Patrick’s Church to feature in Coleraine 400 exhibition

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COELRAINE Borough Council’s Coleraine 400 project is the theme for the opening of a new exhibition on September 23 in Coleraine Town Hall.

Coleraine Museum is preparing for the Coleraine 400 exhibition by reviewing research and extracting relevant information for inclusion.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to find out more about St Patrick’s Church, the oldest standing building in Coleraine today. In the 1990s archaeologists discovered its medieval foundations, which can be seen inside the structure. The Honourable The Irish Society made improvements to St Patrick’s, completed by 1613, and presented a communion plate and chalice to the church.

The church was re-built between 1883 and 1885, with alterations made to the interior in the 1990s. Both inside and outside the church are memorials and gravestones which pay tribute to people who lived in Coleraine in the 17th century.

These include familiar family names such as Dodington, Rowley, Beresford, Munro and Hamilton.

In 1613, Coleraine received its town charter from King James 1.

The charter gave Coleraine the right to hold markets, to trade, to send elected representatives to Parliament and provided the structure of local civil governance.

Throughout the rest of the year Coleraine Museum and Causeway Museum Service will be holding events, tours, a schools programme and an exhibition to mark that event. To find out more pick up a Coleraine 400 Heritage Trail brochure from Tourist Information on Railway Road or Coleraine Town Hall.

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Keep an eye out too for the next in our series of achaeology articles from our correspondent Nick Brannon.