Custom Tour of Ireland
First,we departed our lodgings in Dublin and drove S.W.to our first destination of the town of Cashel, Tipperary and the Rock of Cashel.
The Rock of Cashel is a historic site which benefits from a high elevation and thus affords good views over the local landscape.
Here is a summary of the site’s 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.
After a few hours at Cashel we moved on towards Cork and our objective of Blarney Castle and it’s famous Blarney Stone.
This site attracts high volumes of visitors each year whose prime objective is to visit and kiss the famous Stone which is located at roof level with access entailing a climb up some 127 steps.
Today, the castle remains extend to just the keep which essentially comprises a 15th century tower house inside which the vaulted first floor was once the Great Hall.
Key aspects of the site:
- Kissing the Blarney Stone entails being suspended backwards under the parapet as per image no four in this post. This act is believed to confer a magical eloquence on the participant.
- In addition to the castle, there are 60 acres of parkland, gardens, avenues and arboretums.
- Rock Close, a supposed mystical place on the site of an ancient druidic settlement.
- 19th century Blarney House which is accessed via a walk through flower and fern gardens and a herbaceous border.
We spent about two hours at Blarney and then moved on to our lodgings at Ballincollig, near Cork.
Tomorrow, we tour the Ring of Kerry.