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Here you will find a spectacular group of medival buildings set on a limestone out crop in the Golden Vale, which includes a round tower, high crosses, churches, a ruined abbey and the 12th century Romanesque chapel of St Cormac.
Once a centre of great power, the Rock of Cashel rivalled the primacy of Tara for four centuries.
One of the most famous Irish landmarks, the Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St.
Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site in Cashel town, County Tipperary.
Cashel has a very ancient history, albeit only documented since the 4th Century.
The Rock of Cashel, with its well-preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland’s most spectacular heritage sites, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land route southward.
The Rock of Cashel served as the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman Invasion, though few remnants if any of the early structures survive.
The majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
The buildings that crown the Rock of Cashel present a mass and outline of great complexity, rivalling other famous sites in western Europe.
The complex has a character of its own, unique and native, and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in EuropeThe large Cathedral, ancient round tower and the very early Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel, perched on a dramatic outcrop of rock, were silent witnesses to many of the stirring events of Irish History.
It is said that St.
Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century and Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century.
The Vicar’s Choral has been restored and the site, one of the most visited in Ireland, now provides an interpretative centre, (multi lingual) an interesting museum, guided tours and superb views over the extensive and beautiful plains of Tipperary.
According to local legend, the Rock of Cashel was formed as a result of St.
Patrick banishing the Devil from a cave in a mountain near Templemore to the south west of Cashel.
The mountain got its name because as he left, the devil took a bite out of it.
There is a small gap in the mountain between one outcrop of rock and another small plateau.
The bite the devil allegedly took made this gap.
The legend also suggests that the devil broke his teeth taking this bite and the Rock of Cashel fell from his mouth, where it now stands.
The grounds around the buildings are home to an extensive graveyard, which includes a number of high crosses, such as those pictured.
The entire plateau atop the rock, on which the buildings and graveyard lie, is walled.
Scully’s Cross, one of the largest and most famous high crosses on Cashel, originally constructed in 1867, was destroyed in 1976 when lightning struck a metal rod that ran the length of the cross.
The remains of the top of the cross now lie at the base of the cross, adjacent to the rock wall.