St Patrick's Day

Was Saint Patrick, the patron of Ireland, a lad from Cumbria?

st patricks parade

He's the Patron Saint of Ireland - and today, 17 March, is celebrated in Irish communities all over world. But, did you know that Saint Patrick isn't even Irish.

He was born in Britain around the 5th Century, to a Roman family, and there's a strong possibility that he was actually born here in Cumbria.

Here's a wee bit of context about him first...

  • St Patrick was taken to Ireland as a slave at age 16
  • Escaped after six years
  • Became a Christian priest, and later a Bishop
  • Returned to Ireland as a missionary
  • Played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity
  • Towards the end of his life, Patrick wrote about his life and work in his 'Confession'.

Opinions are divided aundefineds to whether he was brought up at the Roman fort of Birdoswald, in the northeast of the county, or the west Cumbrian coastal village of Ravenglass, site of another Roman fort.

Cumbrian author Steve Wharton has been looking into his life, and whether he is in fact, Cumbrian. He's put his findings into writing.(see tweet below.)

It's like a conspiracy theory, perhaps one of the first conspiracy theories perhaps. The fact that he's not Irish is quite interesting because we associate him so much with Ireland."

Steve WhartonAuthor and storyteller
View more on twitter

Everything you wanted to know about St Patrick.... and more!

He didn't have a hat, dress in green or banish snakes from Ireland.
This year’s St Patrick's Day was unlike any other in recent memory amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. With parades and celebrations cancelled, Good Morning Ulster saw it as an opportunity to focus on the man himself and the sizable footprint that the famous saint has left on the island of Ireland. BBC reporter Cormac Campbell takes up the story.
Red Lines: Capitol gains
Mark Carruthers looks at St Patrick's Day trips to Washington - past and present.
Birmingham Irish I am: 'St Patrick's Day - best day of my life'
A BBC Four documentary tells the story of Birmingham's Irish population through people's memories and rare archive footage.