The Rock of Cashel

Tours of Ireland do not always have a visit to the Rock of Cashel.

This is a rock rising above County Tipperary’s Golden Vale and bearing one of the most imposing collections of ecclesiastical monuments in Ireland.

 Originally a fortress, and allegedly where St. Patrick baptized a king of Munster, it was handed over to the church in 1101 and became the seat of the provinces Archdiocese.

Its oldest surviving building is perhaps the round tower of circa 1100.

It is followed by Cormacs Chapel ( 1124-34 ) which is Irelands most complete stone roofed church in the Romanesque style. The chapel , built in sandstone by Cormac Mac Carrthaigh ,  king of South Munster , contains the countrys oldest frescoes.

The roofless cathedral dates from the thirteenth century. However its western end was never completed. In fact a fortified bishops palace was built later in its place.

The twelfth century Croos of Saint Patrick is now housed in the museum , which is in the fifteenth century Hall of the Vicars Choral , at the entrance to the Rock.

The cathedral was burned in 1495 and again in 1647. It was repaired in 1686 and again in 1729. But it was finally abandoned in 1749.

See it on  Ireland tours….you will not be disappointed.