Year of Mercy Pilgrimages

Shrine of St Oliver Plunkett

During your pilgrimage to Downside Abbey, as part of the Holy Year of Mercy, you’ll notice the shrine of St Oliver Plunkett. 

St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, was executed at Tyburn on 1st July 1681. He was the last martyr for his faith under the penal laws.  After his death, his body was taken to Lamspringe, in Hanover where it lay for 250 years before being brought to Downside. Under the shrine is the small stone coffin he lay in at Lamspringe. 

The saint’s body is here at Downside, but his head is held at Drogheda Cathedral, Ireland. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, the first new Irish saint for almost 700 years.