Rock of Cashel: An extensive and ancient site in Ireland dating about 1500 years

The Rock of Cashel is a popular visitor attraction in Tipperaray, south central Ireland. Location is about 100 miles S.W. of Dublin.

'Cashel' is an Anglicised form of the Irish language word Caiseal, meaning "stone fort".

Landscape view of Rock of Cashel

 Here is a summary of the site’s long history:
  • Seat of the overkings of Munster in 4th or 5th centuries.
  • Site given to the Church in 1101, partly as a tactic to deprive competing claimants for title of ancient royal seat.
  • By around 1111 it is likely that a large church or cathedral existed on the site.
  • Cormac’s Chapel consecrated 1134.
  • Remains of present cathedral date from 13th century.
  • Cathedral altered in 15th century.
  • Cathedral sacked by English Parliamentary forces in 1647.
  • Site used for worship by Church of Ireland ( Episcopalian) until 1749 when site abandoned and progressively fell into disrepair.
  • Taken into State care in 1869 and subject to conservation work in 1875.
  • Hall of the Vicars Choral restored in 1975.
Interior of the Hall of the Vicar’s Choral

View of main building

Round Tower (free standing bell tower) dates from about 1101 and is oldest surviving building on the Rock

Cathedral Nave with view of Round Tower

Replica of 12th century, St. Patrick’s Cross

12th century painting on chancel ceiling of Cormac’s Chapel

                                                        Interior of Cormac’s Chapel

View of landscape from Rock of Cashel


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