Custom Tour of Ireland


Violinist at Cashel, Ireland

This  evening, I am reprising a one day section of a custom tour of Ireland for a small group.

First,we departed our lodgings in Dublin and drove 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.

Cormac’s Chapel. Rock of Cashel, Ireland


Rock of Cashel, Ireland

View from Rock of Cashel, Ireland

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.

Blarney House, Blarney Castle, Ireland

Summer flower at Blarney Castle Garden, Ireland



Tour Group at Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Landscape, Ireland

Blarney Castle, Ireland

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Reconstructed Roman Villa

Glen Quaich, one of Scotland's best backroads tour routes

Fort Augustus, a popular visitor site on southern tip of Loch Ness